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Breast Cancer Res. 2009;11(4):R64. doi: 10.1186/bcr2356. Epub 2009 Aug 28.

Serum 25-hydroxyvitamin D concentrations and postmenopausal breast cancer risk: a nested case control study in the Cancer Prevention Study-II Nutrition Cohort.

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Epidemiology Research, American Cancer Society, 240 Williams Street, Atlanta, GA 30303-1002, USA.



Vitamin D status measured during adulthood has been inversely associated with breast cancer risk in some, but not all, studies. Vitamin D has been hypothesized to prevent breast cancer through genomic and non-genomic actions in cell-cycle regulation.


A subset (n = 21,965) of female participants from the prospective Cancer Prevention Study-II (CPS-II) Nutrition Cohort provided a blood sample from 1998-2001 and were followed through 2005. We measured serum 25-hydroxyvitamin D (25(OH)D) in 516 verified incident cases and 516 controls, matched on birth date (+/- 6 months), date of blood draw (+/- 6 months) and race. Information on medical history, risk factors and lifestyle was available from repeated questionnaires. We computed multi-variable odds ratios (OR) and 95% confidence intervals (95% CI) for the association between 25(OH)D quintile and breast cancer risk using unconditional logistic regression, controlling for matching factors and additional confounders.


We observed no association between 25(OH)D and breast cancer (OR = 1.09, 95% CI 0.70-1.68, P = 0.60) for the top vs bottom quintile. Using a priori cut-points, the OR was 0.86 (95% CI 0.59-1.26), for > or =75 vs <50 nmol/L. Results were not different when the first two years of follow-up were excluded, or in analyses stratified by season, latitude, BMI, postmenopausal hormone use, or by tumor grade or estrogen receptor status.


These results do not support an association between adulthood serum 25(OH)D and postmenopausal breast cancer. We cannot rule out an association with 25(OH)D status earlier in life.

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