Background: The influence of dietary fat upon breast cancer mortality remains largely understudied despite extensive investigation into its influence upon breast cancer risk.
Objective: To conduct meta-analyses of studies to clarify the association between dietary fat and breast cancer mortality.
Design: MEDLINE and EMBASE were searched for relevant articles published up to March 2012. Risk of all-cause or breast-cancer-specific death was evaluated by combining multivariable adjusted estimates comparing highest versus lowest categories of intake; and per 20 g increase in intake of total and/or saturated fat (g/day) using random-effects meta-analyses.
Results: Fifteen prospective cohort studies investigating total fat and/or saturated fat intake (g/day) and breast cancer mortality were included. There was no difference in risk of breast-cancer-specific death (n = 6; HR = 1.14; 95% CI: 0.86, 1.52; p = 0.34) or all-cause death (n = 4; HR = 1.73; 95% CI: 0.82, 3.66; p = 0.15) for women in the highest versus lowest category of total fat intake. Breast-cancer-specific death (n = 4; HR = 1.51; 95% CI: 1.09, 2.09; p < 0.01) was higher for women in the highest versus lowest category of saturated fat intake.
Conclusions: These meta-analyses have shown that saturated fat intake negatively impacts upon breast cancer survival.
Keywords: Dietary fat; breast cancer survival; saturated fat.