An investigation of soy intake and mammographic characteristics in Hawaii

Breast Cancer Res. 2001;3(2):134-41. doi: 10.1186/bcr285. Epub 2001 Jan 5.


This cross-sectional investigation in Hawaii explored the relation between soy foods and mammographic characteristics using two food frequency questionnaires and a computer-assisted density assessment method. Japanese and Chinese women reported significantly greater soy food intake than Caucasian women. Whereas soy intake and the size of the dense areas were not related, soy intake and percent mammographic densities were positively associated. The size of the entire breast and the nondense area (ie the fatty part of the breast) were inversely related to soy intake. These results suggest the hypothesis that soy foods by themselves or as part of an Asian dietary pattern may affect the growth of the female breast before adulthood, but the possible mechanisms of action have to be explored in future studies.

Publication types

  • Comparative Study
  • Research Support, Non-U.S. Gov't
  • Research Support, U.S. Gov't, Non-P.H.S.
  • Research Support, U.S. Gov't, P.H.S.

MeSH terms

  • Breast Neoplasms / etiology*
  • Breast Neoplasms / prevention & control
  • China / epidemiology
  • China / ethnology
  • Diet*
  • Female
  • Hawaii / epidemiology
  • Hawaii / ethnology
  • Humans
  • Image Processing, Computer-Assisted
  • Japan / epidemiology
  • Japan / ethnology
  • Mammography / statistics & numerical data*
  • Middle Aged
  • Risk Factors
  • Soybean Proteins / administration & dosage*
  • Soybean Proteins / therapeutic use
  • United States / epidemiology
  • Whites


  • Soybean Proteins