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Br J Cancer. 2004 Jan 12;90(1):122-7.

Intakes of plant foods, fibre and fat and risk of breast cancer--a prospective study in the Malmö Diet and Cancer cohort.

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Department of Medicine, Surgery and Orthopaedics, Lund University, Malmö University Hospital, SE-205 02 Malmö, Sweden.


The objective of this study was to investigate prospectively the associations between intakes of plant foods, fibre and relative fat and risk of breast cancer in a subsample of 11 726 postmenopausal women in the Malmö Diet and Cancer cohort. Data were obtained by an interview-based diet history method, a structured questionnaire, anthropometrical measurements and national and regional cancer registries. During 89 602 person-years of follow-up, 342 incident cases were documented. Cox regression analysis examined breast cancer risks adjusted for potential confounders. High fibre intakes were associated with a lower risk of postmenopausal breast cancer, incidence rate ratio=0.58, 95% CI: 0.40, 0.84, for the highest quintile of fibre intake compared to the lowest quintile. The combination high fibre-low fat had the lowest risk when examining the effect in each cell of cross-classified tertiles of fibre and fat intakes. An interaction (P=0.049) was found between fibre- and fat-tertiles. There was no significant association between breast cancer risk and intakes of any of the plant food subgroups. These findings support the hypothesis that a dietary pattern characterised by high fibre and low fat intakes is associated with a lower risk of postmenopausal breast cancer.

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