Serum 25-hydroxyvitamin D at pregnancy and risk of breast cancer in a prospective study

Eur J Cancer. 2010 Feb;46(3):467-70. doi: 10.1016/j.ejca.2009.11.019.


Background: Several laboratory and epidemiological studies have inversely linked endogenous vitamin D and the risk of breast cancer. The acquisition of vitamin D over time on the relative risk (RR) of the disease development is not known. In a longitudinal study, we evaluated the association between vitamin D levels at pregnancy over time with the risk of breast cancer, and pregnancy-associated breast cancer.

Method: The risk for subsequent development of breast cancer associated with serum 25-hydroxyvitamin (25-OHD) levels was assessed for consecutive (1st and 2nd pregnancy) samples of 100 cases, with mean lag times (micro(t)) of 7.4 and 4.6 years between sampling and the diagnosis, and matched (parity, age, year, season) controls. Pregnancy-associated breast cancer (PABC, 111 case-control pairs, micro(t)=1 year) risk was also studied. Odds ratios (ORs) with 95% confidence intervals (CI) were calculated using the lowest quintile as the reference.

Results: Serum 25-OHD level was not associated with an increased risk neither at the 1st nor at the 2nd pregnancy samples (OR=1.4, 95%CI 0.6-3.4; OR 1.4, 95%CI 0.7-2.8, respectively), but was associated with an increased risk of PABC (OR=2.7, 95%CI 1.04-6.7).

Conclusion: Generally, vitamin D may not be related to breast cancer risk but the increased PABC risk fits the association of vitamin D with the most aggressive cancers, and warrants caution with vitamin D supplementation during pregnancy.

Publication types

  • Multicenter Study
  • Research Support, Non-U.S. Gov't

MeSH terms

  • Adult
  • Biomarkers, Tumor / blood*
  • Breast Neoplasms / blood*
  • Breast Neoplasms / etiology
  • Epidemiologic Methods
  • Female
  • Humans
  • Middle Aged
  • Parity
  • Pregnancy / blood*
  • Pregnancy Complications, Neoplastic / blood
  • Prognosis
  • Vitamin D / analogs & derivatives*
  • Vitamin D / blood


  • Biomarkers, Tumor
  • Vitamin D
  • 25-hydroxyvitamin D