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Am J Epidemiol. 2010 Jan 15;171(2):221-32. doi: 10.1093/aje/kwp355. Epub 2009 Dec 2.

A prospective study of dairy intake and risk of uterine leiomyomata.

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Slone Epidemiology Center, 1010 Commonwealth Avenue, Boston, MA 02215, USA.


Rates of uterine leiomyomata are 2-3 times higher among black women than white women. Dietary factors that differ in prevalence between these populations that could contribute to the disparity include dairy intake. During 1997-2007, the authors followed 22,120 premenopausal US Black Women's Health Study participants to assess dairy intake in relation to uterine leiomyomata risk. Because soy may be substituted for dairy, the effect of soy intake was also evaluated. Diet was estimated by using food frequency questionnaires in 1995 and 2001. Incidence rate ratios and 95% confidence intervals were estimated with Cox regression. There were 5,871 incident cases of uterine leiomyomata diagnosed by ultrasound (n = 3,964) or surgery (n = 1,907). Multivariable incidence rate ratios comparing 1, 2, 3, and > or =4 servings/day with <1 serving/day of total dairy were 0.94 (95% confidence interval (CI): 0.88, 1.00), 0.87 (95% CI: 0.78, 0.98), 0.84 (95% CI: 0.70, 1.01), and 0.70 (95% CI: 0.58, 0.86), respectively (P-trend <0.001). Incidence rate ratios comparing the highest (> or =2 servings/day) with the lowest (<1 serving/week) intake categories were 0.81 (95% CI: 0.66, 0.99) for high-fat dairy, 0.80 (95% CI: 0.70, 0.91) for low-fat dairy, and 0.78 (95% CI: 0.68, 0.89) for milk. Soy intake was unrelated to uterine leiomyomata risk. This large prospective study of black women provides the first epidemiologic evidence of reduced uterine leiomyomata risk associated with dairy consumption.

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