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Am J Clin Nutr. 2008 May;87(5):1400-4.

Multivitamin-multimineral supplement use and mammographic breast density.

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  • 1Unité de Recherche en Santé des Populations, Centre Hospitalier Affilié Universitaire de Québec, Québec, Canada.



The effect of multivitamin-multimineral supplements on the occurrence of chronic diseases, such as breast cancer, is unclear. Breast density is increasingly used as a biomarker of breast cancer risk.


The present study evaluated the association of multivitamin-multimineral supplement use with breast density.


Premenopausal (n = 777) and postmenopausal (n = 783) women were recruited at the time of screening mammography. Anthropometric measurements were taken at recruitment. Demographic characteristics, behavioral factors, and health conditions were documented by telephone interview. Diet and multivitamin-multimineral and individual vitamin and mineral supplement use were assessed with a self-administered food-frequency questionnaire. Breast density from screening mammograms was measured using a computer-assisted method. Crude and adjusted means in breast density were evaluated according to multivitamin-multimineral supplement use using generalized linear models.


Current multivitamin-multimineral supplement use was reported by 21.7% of women (20.7% and 22.6% of premenopausal and postmenopausal women, respectively). Premenopausal women who were currently using multivitamin-multimineral supplements had higher adjusted mean breast density (45.5%) than past (42.9%) or never (40.2%) users (P for heterogeneity = 0.03, P for trend = 0.009). Of the current users, breast density was not related to duration of multivitamin-multimineral supplement use. In postmenopausal women, multivitamin-multimineral supplement use was not associated with breast density (P for heterogeneity = 0.53, P for trend = 0.40).


Regular use of multivitamin-multimineral supplements may be associated with higher mean breast density among premenopausal women. The relations of multivitamin-multimineral supplement use to breast density and breast cancer risk need to be clarified.

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