The effect of dietary exposures on recurrence and mortality in early stage breast cancer

Breast Cancer Res Treat. 1998 Sep;51(1):17-28. doi: 10.1023/a:1006056915001.


We studied the effect of diet and body weight on recurrence and death in 472 women diagnosed with early-stage breast cancer in 1982-1984. From Cox proportional hazards regression models we found that the strongest effects were observed in premenopausal women. For example, after accounting for disease stage and age, reported baseline consumption (times/day) of butter, margarine, and lard (risk ratio (RR)=1.67; 95% confidence interval (CI)=1.17-2.39) and beer (drinks/day) (RR=1.58; 95% CI=1.15-2.17) increased the risk of recurrence. There also appeared to be an increased risk associated with consumption of red meat, liver, and bacon, corresponding to about a doubling of risk for each time per day that foods in this category were consumed (RR=1.93; 95 % CI=0.89-4.15). Relative body weight increased risk at the rate of 9% (RR=1.09; 95% CI=1.02-1.17) for each kg/m2 (equivalent to about 5.8 pounds for a woman 5'4" tall). For death, the results were similar, but relative weight was more strongly associated, increasing risk by 12% per kg/m2 (RR=1.12; 95% CI=1.03-1.22).

Publication types

  • Research Support, Non-U.S. Gov't
  • Research Support, U.S. Gov't, P.H.S.

MeSH terms

  • Adult
  • Aged
  • Aged, 80 and over
  • Beer
  • Body Mass Index
  • Body Weight*
  • Breast Neoplasms / mortality*
  • Cohort Studies
  • Confidence Intervals
  • Diet*
  • Dietary Fats / administration & dosage
  • Disease-Free Survival
  • Female
  • Follow-Up Studies
  • Humans
  • Massachusetts / epidemiology
  • Middle Aged
  • Neoplasm Recurrence, Local
  • Nutrition Surveys
  • Proportional Hazards Models
  • Prospective Studies
  • Risk Factors
  • Survival Analysis


  • Dietary Fats