Adolescent diet and subsequent serum hormones, breast density, and bone mineral density in young women: results of the Dietary Intervention Study in Children follow-up study

UMMS Affiliation

Department of Quantitative Health Sciences

Publication Date


Document Type



Adolescent; Adult; *Bone Density; Breast; Breast Neoplasms; Child; Cholesterol, LDL; Diet; *Diet, Fat-Restricted; Estradiol; Female; Follow-Up Studies; Gonadal Hormones; Humans; Mammography; Progesterone; Sex Hormone-Binding Globulin; Young Adult


Bioinformatics | Biostatistics | Epidemiology | Health Services Research


BACKGROUND: Adolescent diet is hypothesized to influence breast cancer risk. We evaluated the long-term effects of an intervention to lower fat intake among adolescent girls on biomarkers that are related to breast cancer risk in adults.

METHODS: A follow-up study was conducted on 230 girls who participated in the Dietary Intervention Study in Children (DISC), in which healthy, prepubertal, 8 to 10 year olds were randomly assigned to usual care or to a behavioral intervention that promoted a reduced fat diet. Participants were 25 to 29 years old at follow-up visits. All tests of statistical significance are two-sided.

RESULTS: In analyses that did not take account of diet at the time of the follow-up visit, the only statistically significant treatment group difference was higher bone mineral content in intervention group participants compared with usual care group participants; their mean bone mineral contents were 2,444 and 2,377 g, respectively. After adjustment for current diet, the intervention group also had statistically significantly higher bone mineral density and luteal phase serum estradiol concentrations. Serum progesterone concentrations and breast density did not differ by treatment group in unadjusted or adjusted analyses.

CONCLUSIONS: Results do not support the hypothesis that consumption of a lower fat diet during adolescence reduces breast cancer risk via effects on subsequent serum estradiol and progesterone levels, breast density, or bone mineral density. It remains unclear, however, if the results are specific to the DISC intervention or are more broadly applicable.

IMPACT: Modest reductions in fat intake during adolescence are unlikely to lower later breast cancer risk via long-term effects on the biomarkers measured.

DOI of Published Version



Cancer Epidemiol Biomarkers Prev. 2010 Jun;19(6):1545-56. Epub 2010 May 25. Link to article on publisher's site

Journal/Book/Conference Title

Cancer epidemiology, biomarkers and prevention : a publication of the American Association for Cancer Research, cosponsored by the American Society of Preventive Oncology

PubMed ID


Related Resources

Link to Article in PubMed