Diet, serum markers and breast cancer mortality in China

Jpn J Cancer Res. 1994 Jun;85(6):572-7. doi: 10.1111/j.1349-7006.1994.tb02398.x.


This county-based correlation study examined associations of breast cancer mortality with dietary habits and certain serum biochemical markers, utilizing data collected from an ecological survey in 65 Chinese rural counties. Univariate correlation and multivariate regression analysis showed that consumption of animal foods, including eggs, fish and meat, was positively linked to county-wide mortality rates of breast cancer in Chinese women. No clear associations between breast cancer mortality rates and consumption of green vegetables, carrots and fruits were observed in this study. A modest inverse correlation between serum vitamin C levels and breast cancer mortality was observed, while selenium levels were positively related to the mortality rates. Positive correlations for serum ferritin and hemoglobin were found, in agreement with recent reports of an elevated cancer risk with increased body iron stores. Limitations of these ecological data preclude causal inferences, but the findings provide clues to breast cancer risk and protective factors in a low incidence area of the world.

MeSH terms

  • Adult
  • Analysis of Variance
  • Ascorbic Acid / blood
  • Biomarkers, Tumor / blood*
  • Breast Neoplasms / blood*
  • Breast Neoplasms / etiology
  • Breast Neoplasms / mortality*
  • China / epidemiology
  • Diet*
  • Female
  • Hemoglobins / metabolism
  • Humans
  • Life Style
  • Menarche
  • Middle Aged
  • Multivariate Analysis
  • Socioeconomic Factors


  • Biomarkers, Tumor
  • Hemoglobins
  • Ascorbic Acid