Fruit and vegetable intake in relation to risk of breast cancer in the Black Women's Health Study

Am J Epidemiol. 2010 Dec 1;172(11):1268-79. doi: 10.1093/aje/kwq293. Epub 2010 Oct 11.


The authors prospectively examined the relation of fruit and vegetable intake to breast cancer risk among 51,928 women aged 21-69 years at enrollment in 1995 in the Black Women's Health Study. Dietary intake was assessed by using a validated food frequency questionnaire. Cox proportional hazards models were used to estimate incidence rate ratios and 95% confidence intervals, adjusted for breast cancer risk factors. During 12 years of follow-up, there were 1,268 incident cases of breast cancer. Total fruit, total vegetable, and total fruit and vegetable intakes were not significantly associated with overall risk of breast cancer. However, total vegetable consumption was associated with a decreased risk of estrogen receptor-negative/progesterone receptor-negative breast cancer (incidence rate ratio = 0.57, 95% confidence interval: 0.38, 0.85, for ≥2 servings/day relative to <4/week; P(trend) = 0.02). In addition, there was some evidence of inverse associations with breast cancer risk overall for cruciferous vegetable intake (P(trend) = 0.06) and for carrot intake (P(trend) = 0.02). Study findings suggest that frequent consumption of vegetables is inversely associated with risk of estrogen receptor-negative/progesterone receptor-negative breast cancer, and that specific vegetables may be associated with a decreased risk of breast cancer overall.

Publication types

  • Research Support, N.I.H., Extramural

MeSH terms

  • Adult
  • Age Distribution
  • Aged
  • Black People / statistics & numerical data*
  • Breast Neoplasms / ethnology*
  • Confidence Intervals
  • Diet Surveys*
  • Feeding Behavior / ethnology*
  • Female
  • Fruit*
  • Humans
  • Incidence
  • Middle Aged
  • Population Surveillance
  • Prospective Studies
  • Risk Assessment
  • Surveys and Questionnaires
  • United States / epidemiology
  • Vegetables*
  • Women's Health / ethnology*
  • Young Adult