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Diet Quality and Breast Cancer Recurrence and Survival: The Pathways Study

Prior research suggests a relationship between overall diet quality and breast cancer survival, although few studies have reported on this topic. We evaluated whether 4 dietary quality indices consistent with healthy eating recommendations around the time of breast cancer diagnosis were associated with risk of recurrence, cause-specific, and all-cause mortality. A total of 3660 women diagnosed with invasive breast cancer were included. Diet was assessed an average of 2.3 (range = 0.7-18.7) months after diagnosis, from which 4 dietary quality indices were derived: the American Cancer Society guidelines (ACS), the alternate Mediterranean Diet Index (aMED), the Dietary Approaches to Stop Hypertension (DASH), and the 2015 Healthy Eating Index (HEI). Over 40 888 person-years of follow-up, 461 breast cancer recurrences, and 655 deaths were ascertained. Cox models were used to estimate hazards ratios (HRs) and 95% confidence intervals (CIs). Adjusted comparisons between extreme quintiles showed all 4 dietary quality indices to be inversely associated with all-cause mortality, suggesting a 21%-27% lower risk (ACS HR = 0.73, 95% CI = 0.56 to 0.95; aMED HR = 0.79, 95% CI = 0.61 to 1.03; DASH HR = 0.76, 95% CI = 0.58 to 1.00; HEI HR = 0.77, 95% CI = 0.60 to 1.01). Similar patterns were noted for non-breast cancer mortality (ACS HR = 0.69, 95% CI = 0.48 to 0.98; aMED HR = 0.73, 95% CI = 0.50 to 1.05; DASH HR = 0.55, 95% CI = 0.38 to 0.79; HEI HR = 0.67, 95% CI = 0.48 to 0.94). None of the dietary quality indices were associated with recurrence or breast cancer-specific mortality. Food intake patterns concordant with dietary quality indices consistent with recommendations for healthy eating may be beneficial for women with breast cancer.

Authors: Ergas, Isaac J; Cespedes Feliciano, Elizabeth M; Bradshaw, Patrick T; Roh, Janise M; Kwan, Marilyn L; Cadenhead, Jen; Santiago-Torres, Margarita; Troeschel, Alyssa N; Laraia, Barbara; Madsen, Kristine; Kushi, Lawrence H

JNCI Cancer Spectr. 2021 04;5(2). Epub 2021-03-02.

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