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Am J Hum Biol. 2011 Sep-Oct;23(5):601-8. doi: 10.1002/ajhb.21176. Epub 2011 Jun 16.

A meta-analysis of fat intake, reproduction, and breast cancer risk: an evolutionary perspective.

Author information

1
Department of Anthropology, Indiana University, Bloomington, Indiana 47405, USA. turnerlb@indiana.edu

Abstract

OBJECTIVES:

This study is a systematic review of literature published up to May of 2010 aimed to identify relationships between dietary fat, and fat subtypes, with risk of breast cancer in women.

METHODS:

Descriptive data, estimates of relative risk and associated 95% confidence interval (CI) were extracted from relative studies and analyzed using the random effects model of DerSimonian and Laird.

RESULTS:

Cohort study results indicated significant summary relative risks between polyunsaturated fat and breast cancer (1.091, 95% CI: 1.001; 1.184). In case-control studies no association between fat and breast cancer was observed. Post-menopausal women indicated a significant association between total fat (1.042, 95%CI: 1.013; 1.073), PUFA intake (1.22, 95% CI: 1.08; 1.381), and breast cancer. A non-significant inverse relation between intake of all fat types and breast cancer was identified in premenopausal women.

CONCLUSIONS:

These results support the idea that possible elevations in serum estrogen levels by an adult exposure to a high-fat diet would increase breast cancer risk. Furthermore, menopausal status was observed to affect women's risk of breast cancer. Higher risks of breast cancer were found in post-menopausal women consuming diets high in total fat and polyunsaturated fats. Conversely, dietary fat appears to have preventative effects in pre-menopausal women. This study takes a transformative approach combining epidemiological, biomedical, and evolutionary theory to evaluate how biocultural variations in risk factors (i.e., diet and reproduction) affect the evolution of breast cancers.

PMID:
21681848
DOI:
10.1002/ajhb.21176
[Indexed for MEDLINE]

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