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Nutr Cancer. 2011;63(1):12-20. doi: 10.1080/01635581.2010.516478.

Dairy products, calcium intake, and breast cancer risk: a case-control study in China.

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Centre of Research and Promotion of Women's Health, School of Public Health and Primary Care, The Chinese University of Hong Kong, Hong Kong SAR.


The results of dairy food consumption and breast cancer risk are conflicting, and their relationship has not previously been studied in China. The objective of this study is to examine the association between dairy products, calcium intake, and breast cancer risk among Chinese women. A hospital-based case-control study was conducted among Chinese women in the Guangdong province from June 2007 to August 2008. Four hundred and thirty-eight consecutively recruited cases with primary breast cancer were frequency-matched to 438 controls on age and residence. Dietary intake information was collected by interviewers using a validated food frequency questionnaire. Odds ratios (ORs) and 95% confidence interval (CI) were estimated using unconditional multiple logistic regression adjusted for various potential confounders. We observed a statistically significant inverse association of dietary calcium intake with breast cancer risk, with the adjusted OR (95% CI) of 0.35 (0.22-0.56) comparing the highest with the lowest quartile. No significant association was found between dairy products measured either by dry weight of dairy product or dairy product protein intake and breast cancer risk. Our study supports a protective effect of high intake of dietary calcium on breast cancer risk, and no association with dairy product intake.

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