Dietary Fat and Breast Cancer in Postmenopausal Women According to Ethnicity and Hormone Receptor Status: The Multiethnic Cohort Study
Dietary fat has been widely studied as a risk factor for breast cancer, with little consistency in results. The Multiethnic Cohort Study (MEC) provides an opportunity to assess this relationship for possible heterogeneity across different racial/ethnic groups, as well as by stratification on several other variables associated with risk. Therefore, we investigated the associations between dietary fat, overall and by type, and breast cancer risk among 85,089 postmenopausal women who entered the MEC by completing a comprehensive dietary questionnaire in 1993 to 1996. During a mean follow-up of 12 years, 3,885 incident invasive breast cancer cases were identified. The multivariate HR [95% confidence interval (CI)] for the highest versus lowest quintile of intake was 0.94 (95% CI, 0.85-1.05) for total fat and 0.93 (95% CI, 0.83-1.04) for saturated fat. Other specific types of dietary fat, including individual fatty acids, were not related to risk of postmenopausal breast cancer. We found no heterogeneity in these null findings across the five ethnic groups. Furthermore, we found no evidence that the association between dietary fat and postmenopausal breast cancer risk differed by estrogen/progesterone receptor status, tumor stage, body mass index, hormone replacement therapy use, follow-up period, family history of breast cancer, and smoking status at baseline. In conclusion, this comprehensive prospective analysis in the MEC does not support a role of adult intake of dietary fat in the etiology of postmenopausal breast cancer.