Background: Advanced glycation end products (AGEs) are reactive metabolites produced as a by-product of sugar metabolism and are consumed through the diet in high-fat and highly processed foods. They are associated with chronic inflammatory diseases, and evidence suggests that they play a role in carcinogenesis. The authors evaluated the association of dietary AGE intake and the risk of postmenopausal invasive breast cancer.
Methods: This was a prospective cohort study of 183,548 postmenopausal women in the National Institutes of Health-AARP Diet and Health Study. The main outcome was incident invasive breast cancer. AGE intake was estimated from food-frequency questionnaires. Incident breast cancer cases were identified through state cancer registries. Cox proportional hazards regression models were used to estimate hazard ratios (HRs) and 95% confidence intervals for developing breast cancer according to AGE intake quintiles. Multivariable regression models were adjusted for breast cancer risk factors.
Results: The mean follow-up was 12.8 years, and 9851 breast cancers (1978 advanced stage) were identified. The median AGE daily intake was 5932 kilo units per 100 kilocalories (KU/1000 kcal). Women with higher intake tended to have lower education levels, higher body mass index, less physical activity, were current smokers, and had higher fat and meat intake. The highest quintile of AGE intake (compared with the lowest) was associated with an increased risk of breast cancer (HR, 1.09; 95% CI, 1.02-1.16; P = .03) after adjusting for breast cancer risk factors and particularly was associated with 37% of advanced-stage tumors (HR, 1.37; 95% CI, 1.09-1.74; P < .02) after adjusting for risk factors and fat and meat intake.
Conclusions: Dietary AGEs may play a role in the development of postmenopausal breast cancer.
Keywords: advanced glycation end products; breast cancer; cancer prevention; diet; lifestyle modification.
© 2020 American Cancer Society.