Intake of fiber and nuts during adolescence and incidence of proliferative benign breast disease

Cancer Causes Control. 2010 Jul;21(7):1033-46. doi: 10.1007/s10552-010-9532-7. Epub 2010 Mar 14.


Objective: We examined the association between adolescent fiber intake and proliferative BBD, a marker of increased breast cancer risk, in the Nurses' Health Study II.

Methods: Among 29,480 women who completed a high school diet questionnaire in 1998, 682 proliferative BBD cases were identified and confirmed by centralized pathology review between 1991 and 2001. Multivariate-adjusted Cox proportional hazards regression was used to estimate hazard ratios (HRs) and 95% confidence intervals (CIs).

Results: Women in the highest quintile of adolescent fiber intake had a 25% lower risk of proliferative BBD (multivariate HR (95% CI): 0.75 (0.59, 0.96), p-trend = 0.01) than women in the lowest quintile. High school intake of nuts was also related to significantly reduced BBD risk. Women consuming >or=2 servings of nuts/week had a 36% lower risk (multivariate HR (95% CI): 0.64 (0.48, 0.85), p-trend < 0.01) than women consuming <1 serving/month. Results were essentially the same when the analysis was restricted to prospective cases (n = 142) diagnosed after return of the high school diet questionnaire.

Conclusions: These findings support the hypothesis that dietary intake of fiber and nuts during adolescence influences subsequent risk of breast disease and may suggest a viable means for breast cancer prevention.

Publication types

  • Research Support, N.I.H., Extramural
  • Research Support, Non-U.S. Gov't

MeSH terms

  • Adolescent
  • Adult
  • Breast Diseases / epidemiology*
  • Breast Diseases / prevention & control
  • Diet
  • Dietary Fiber / administration & dosage*
  • Female
  • Humans
  • Incidence
  • Multivariate Analysis
  • Nuts*
  • Proportional Hazards Models
  • Regression Analysis
  • Risk Assessment / methods
  • Risk Assessment / statistics & numerical data
  • Surveys and Questionnaires*
  • United States / epidemiology