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Saudi Med J. 2018 Jun;39(6):564-571. doi: 10.15537/smj.2018.6.21902.

A descriptive study of vitamin D and other nutritional factors in breast cancer patients in Saudi Arabia.

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Nutrition and Food Science, Princess Nourah bint Abdulrahman University, Riyadh, Kingdom of Saudi Arabia. E-mail.



To assess the role of serum vitamin D and other nutritional factors in women with breast cancer in Saudi.


A total of 500 women (250 patients with breast cancer and 250 controls) aged 30-60 years were recruited from King Saud Medical City and King Fahad Medical City, Riyadh, Saudi Arabia,  between May 2015 and June 2016. In this cross-sectional study, blood pressure, plasma concentrations of vitamin D, and calcium levels were evaluated. A 3-day dietary record was used to assess dietary intake.


The mean body mass index was  31.2±7.0  kg/m2   for the breast cancer group and 30.7±7.6 kg/m2 for the control group. More than 80% of the participants had insufficient vitamin D levels (less than 75.0 nmol/L). The mean cholesterol intake was significantly (p=0.001) lower in the control group (233.1±75.1 mg) than in the breast cancer group (257.2±84.8 mg). Breast density was found to be significantly associated with vitamin D deficiency-symptoms. Severe paresthesia was also significantly associated with breast cancer. The incidence of other vitamin D deficiency-symptoms was significantly higher in the control group.


Due to prevalence of vitamin D deficiency in Saudi Arabia, it is difficult to determine the relationship to breast cancer. The incidence of it is associated with old age and high cholesterol intake, and paresthesia may be a symptom of breast cancer.

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