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Br J Cancer. 2008 Oct 7;99(7):1170-5. doi: 10.1038/sj.bjc.6604618. Epub 2008 Aug 26.

Dietary glycaemic index, glycaemic load and breast cancer risk: a systematic review and meta-analysis.

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  • 1Cancer Epidemiology and Prevention Research Group, Centre for Clinical and Population Sciences, Queens University Belfast, Royal Victoria Hospital Site, Grosvenor Road, Belfast, BT12 6BJ, UK.


This systematic review aimed to examine if an association exists between dietary glycaemic index (GI) and glycaemic load (GL) intake and breast cancer risk. A systematic search was conducted in Medline and Embase and identified 14 relevant studies up to May 2008. Adjusted relative risk estimates comparing breast cancer risk for the highest versus the lowest category of GI/GL intake were extracted from relevant studies and combined in meta-analyses using a random-effects model. Combined estimates from six cohort studies show non-significant increased breast cancer risks for premenopausal women (relative risk (RR) 1.14, 95% CI 0.95-1.38) and postmenopausal women (RR 1.11, 95% CI 0.99-1.25) consuming the highest versus the lowest category of GI intake. Evidence of heterogeneity hindered analyses of GL and premenopausal risk, although most studies did not observe any significant association. Pooled cohort study results indicated no association between postmenopausal risk and GL intake (RR 1.03, 95% CI 0.94-1.12). Our findings do not provide strong support of an association between dietary GI and GL and breast cancer risk.

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