Purpose: Epidemiological studies have suggested a protective effect of dietary fiber intake on breast cancer risk while the results have been inconsistent. Our study aimed to investigate the association between dietary fiber intake and breast cancer risk and to explore whether this association is modified by reproductive factors and hormone receptor status of the tumor.
Methods: A total of 44,444 women aged 45 to 74 years from the Japan Public Health Center-based Prospective Study were included in analyses. Dietary intake assessment was performed using a validated 138-item food frequency questionnaire (FFQ). Hazard ratios (HRs) and 95% confidence intervals (CIs) for breast cancer incidence were calculated by multivariate Cox proportional hazards regression models.
Results: During 624,423 person-years of follow-up period, 681 breast cancer cases were identified. After adjusting for major confounders for breast cancer risk, inverse trends were observed but statistically non-significant. Extremely high intake of fiber was associated with decreased risk of breast cancer but this should be interpreted with caution due to limited statistical power. In stratified analyses by menopausal and hormone receptor status, null associations were observed except for ER-PR- status.
Conclusions: Our findings suggest that extreme high fiber intake may be associated with decreased risk of breast cancer but the level of dietary fiber intake among Japanese population might not be sufficient to examine the association between dietary fiber intake and breast cancer risk.
Keywords: Breast cancer; Dietary fiber intake; Estrogen receptor (ER); Progesterone receptor (PR).