The Role of Nutrition in Women with Benign Cyclic Mastalgia: A Case-Control Study

Eur J Breast Health. 2018 Jul 1;14(3):156-159. doi: 10.5152/ejbh.2018.3827. eCollection 2018 Jul.


Objective: Smoking, caffeine, oral contraception, and exercise are the most cited factors for premenstrual mastalgia in the literature, but remain controversial. In this study, we aimed to investigate the most often proposed nutritional factors for cyclic breast pain.

Materials and methods: Patients who met the criteria for participation in the mastalgia or control group were included in this case-control study. The age, body mass index, educational status, duration of breast pain, visual analog scale (VAS) pain score (0 to 10), number of births, use of oral contraception, exercise habits, drinking coffee, tea, alcohol and water, smoking history, and eating fast food and dessert were examined using a questionnaire.

Results: The mean age of mastalgia (n=256) and control (n=200) patients were 35.9±11.0 and 36.6±10.6 years, respectively. In the mastalgia group, the mean duration of cyclic breast pain time was 22.8±33.0 months and mean the VAS score 4.0±2.1. Body mass index and the mean number of births were higher in the mastalgia group than control group (p<0.005). There were no differences in smoking, oral contraceptive use, and drinking alcohol and tea (p>0.005). Compared to the mastalgia group, the control group ate more fast food and desserts, drank more water and coffee, and exercised less (p<0.005).

Conclusion: The causes of mastalgia remain controversial. Our data supports some of the published studies, but not others. We propose that nutritional factors contribute less to the risk of mastalgia than is generally thought.

Keywords: Cyclic mastalgia; breast pain; caffeine; nutrition; smoking.