Does the Mediterranean Diet Decrease Risk of Breast Cancer?
This study by van den Brandt and Schulpen (Cancer Epidemiology, 2017) sought to determine if adherence to the Mediterranean diet decreases risk of breast cancer.
Cohort Study and Meta-Analysis
Standardized Mediterranean Diet Score protocols were used to determine conformity with diet. Alcohol was not included in the score as is typically done because it is a known risk factor for breast cancer. 62,573 women aged 55-69 were surveyed for lifestyle and cancer incidence over the course of 20.3 years. 2,321 breast cancer cases and 1,655 subcohort members with complete data on diet and potential confounders were analyzed. The Mediterranean diet decreased the risk of ER (receptor) negative breast cancer with a Hazard Ratio of 0.60, but did not significantly decrease risk of ER positive or total breast cancer risk. Adherence to the Mediterranean diet could be used as an approach to prevent ER negative breast cancer.
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