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Br J Cancer. 2003 Oct 6;89(7):1255-9.

Flavonoid intake and breast cancer risk: a case--control study in Greece.

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Schools of Nutrition and Medicine, Boston, MA 02111, USA.


Flavonoids have been investigated for possible inverse associations with various chronic degenerative diseases, but there are no epidemiologic data concerning a possible association between several of the main flavonoid categories and breast cancer risk. We have applied recently published data on the flavonoid content of several foods and beverages on dietary information collected in the context of a large case-control study of 820 women with breast cancer and 1548 control women, conducted in Greece. We found a strong, statistically significant inverse association of flavone intake with breast cancer. The odds ratio for an increment equal to one standard deviation of daily flavone intake (i.e. 0.5 mg day(-1)) was 0.87, with 95% confidence interval 0.77-0.97. The association persisted after controlling for fruit and vegetable consumption, or for other flavonoid intake. This inverse association is compatible with and may explain the reported inverse association of breast cancer with consumption of vegetables, particularly leafy vegetables. After controlling for dietary confounding, there was no association of breast cancer risk with flavanones, flavan-3-ols, flavonols, anthocyanidins or isoflavones.

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