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Association between dietary inflammatory potential and breast cancer incidence and death: results from the Women’s Health Initiative

Diet modulates inflammation and inflammatory markers have been associated with cancer outcomes. In the Women’s Health Initiative, we investigated associations between a dietary inflammatory index (DII) and invasive breast cancer incidence and death. The DII was calculated from a baseline food frequency questionnaire in 122?788 postmenopausal women, enrolled from 1993 to 1998 with no prior cancer, and followed until 29 August 2014. With median follow-up of 16.02 years, there were 7495 breast cancer cases and 667 breast cancer deaths. We used Cox regression to estimate multivariable-adjusted hazards ratios (HRs) and 95% confidence intervals (95% CIs) by DII quintiles (Q) for incidence of overall breast cancer, breast cancer subtypes, and deaths from breast cancer. The lowest quintile (representing the most anti-inflammatory diet) was the reference. The DII was not associated with incidence of overall breast cancer (HRQ5vsQ1, 0.99; 95% CI, 0.91-1.07; Ptrend=0.83 for overall breast cancer). In a full cohort analysis, a higher risk of death from breast cancer was associated with consumption of more pro-inflammatory diets at baseline, after controlling for multiple potential confounders (HRQ5vsQ1, 1.33; 95% CI, 1.01-1.76; Ptrend=0.03). Future studies are needed to examine the inflammatory potential of post-diagnosis diet given the suggestion from the current study that dietary inflammatory potential before diagnosis is related to breast cancer death.

Authors: Tabung FK; Caan B; Hébert JR; et al.

Br J Cancer. 2016 May 24;114(11):1277-85. Epub 2016-04-21.

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