Walter C Willett

Universidad de Navarra, Iruña, Navarre, Spain

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Publications (307)3025.37 Total impact

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    Preview · Article · Jan 2016 · BMJ (online)
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    ABSTRACT: Adolescence is hypothesized to be a time period of particular susceptibility to breast cancer risk factors. Red meat and fat intake during high school was positively associated with risk of breast cancer among premenopausal women in the Nurses’ Health Study II (NHSII). High mammographic density is a strong predictor of breast cancer risk but there is limited research on dietary factors associated with breast density. To test the hypothesis that high intake of animal fat or red meat during adolescence is associated with mammographic density, we analyzed data from premenopausal women in the NHSII. Participants recalled adolescent diet on a high school food frequency questionnaire. We assessed absolute and percent mammographic density on digitized analog film mammograms for 687 premenopausal women with no history of cancer. We used generalized linear regression to quantify associations of adolescent animal fat and red meat intake with mammographic density, adjusting for age, body mass index, and other predictors of mammographic density. Adolescent animal fat intake was significantly positively associated with premenopausal mammographic density, with a mean percent density of 39.2 % in the lowest quartile of adolescent animal fat intake versus 43.1 % in the highest quartile (p trend: 0.03). A non-significant positive association was also observed for adolescent red meat intake (p trend: 0.14). These findings suggest that higher adolescent animal fat intake is weakly associated with percent mammographic density in premenopausal women.
    No preview · Article · Jan 2016 · Breast Cancer Research and Treatment
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    ABSTRACT: Importance Nitric oxide signaling alterations in outflow facility and retinal blood flow autoregulation are implicated in primary open-angle glaucoma (POAG). Nitric oxide donation has emerged as a POAG therapeutic target. An exogenous source of nitric oxide is dietary nitrates.Objective To evaluate the association between dietary nitrate intake, derived mainly from green leafy vegetables, and POAG.Design, Setting, and Participants We followed up participants biennially in the prospective cohorts of the Nurses’ Health Study (63 893 women; 1984-2012) and the Health Professionals Follow-up Study (41 094 men; 1986-2012) at each 2-year risk period. Eligible participants were 40 years or older, were free of POAG, and reported eye examinations.Exposures The primary exposure was dietary nitrate intake. Information on diet and potential confounders was updated with validated questionnaires.Main Outcomes and Measures The main outcome was the incidence of POAG and POAG subtypes; 1483 cases were confirmed with medical records and classified into subtypes defined by intraocular pressure (IOP) (≥22 or <22 mm Hg) or by visual field (VF) loss pattern at diagnosis (peripheral loss only or early paracentral loss). Cohort-specific and pooled multivariable rate ratios (MVRRs) and 95% CIs were estimated.Results During 1 678 713 person-years of follow-up, 1483 incident cases of POAG were identified. The mean (SD) age for the 1483 cases was 66.8 (8.3). Compared with the lowest quintile of dietary nitrate intake (quintile 1: approximately 80 mg/d), the pooled MVRR for the highest quintile (quintile 5: approximately 240 mg/d) was 0.79 (95% CI, 0.66-0.93; P for trend = .02). The dose response was stronger (P for heterogeneity = .01) for POAG with early paracentral VF loss (433 cases; quintile 5 vs quintile 1 MVRR = 0.56; 95% CI, 0.40-0.79; P for trend < .001) than for POAG with peripheral VF loss only (835 cases; quintile 5 vs quintile 1 MVRR = 0.85; 95% CI, 0.68-1.06; P for trend = .50). The association did not differ (P for heterogeneity = .75) by POAG subtypes defined by IOP (997 case patients with IOP ≥22 mm Hg: quintile 5 vs quintile 1 MVRR = 0.82; 95% CI, 0.67-1.01; P for trend = .11; 486 case patients with IOP <22 mm Hg: quintile 5 vs quintile 1 MVRR = 0.71; 95% CI, 0.53-0.96; P for trend = .12). Green leafy vegetables accounted for 56.7% of nitrate intake variation. Compared with consuming 0.31 servings per day, the MVRR for consuming 1.45 or more servings per day was 0.82 for all POAG (95% CI, 0.69-0.97; P for trend = .02) and 0.52 for POAG with paracentral VF loss (95% CI, 0.29-0.96; P for trend < .001).Conclusions and Relevance Higher dietary nitrate and green leafy vegetable intake was associated with a lower POAG risk, particularly POAG with early paracentral VF loss at diagnosis.
    No preview · Article · Jan 2016 · Jama Ophthalmology
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    ABSTRACT: Background: Carbohydrate quality has been consistently related to the risk of type 2 diabetes (T2D). However, limited information is available about the effect of carbohydrate quality on biomarkers related to T2D. Objective: We examined the associations of carbohydrate quality measures (CQMs) including carbohydrate intake; starch intake; glycemic index; glycemic load; total, cereal, fruit, and vegetable fiber intakes; and different combinations of these nutrients with plasma concentrations of adiponectin, C-reactive protein (CRP), and glycated hemoglobin (HbA1c). Methods: This is a cross-sectional analysis of 2458 diabetes-free women, ages 43-70 y, in the Nurses Health Study. CQMs were estimated from food-frequency questionnaires, and averages from 1984, 1986, and 1990 were used. Plasma biomarkers were collected in 1990. Multiple linear regression models were used to assess the associations between CQMs and biomarkers. Results: After age, body mass index, lifestyle, and dietary variables were adjusted, 1) total fiber intake was positively associated with adiponectin (P-trend = 0.004); 2) cereal fiber intake was positively associated with adiponectin and inversely associated with CRP, and fruit fiber intake was negatively associated with HbA1c concentrations (all P-trend < 0.03); 3) starch intake was inversely associated with adiponectin (P-trend = 0.02); 4) a higher glycemic index was associated with lower adiponectin and higher HbA1c (both P-trend < 0.05); 5) a higher carbohydrate-to-total fiber intake ratio was associated with lower adiponectin (P-trend = 0.005); 6) a higher starch-to-total fiber intake ratio was associated with lower adiponectin and higher HbA1c (both P-trend < 0.05); and 7) a higher starch-to-cereal fiber intake ratio was associated with lower adiponectin (P-trend = 0.002). Conclusions: A greater fiber intake and a lower starch-to-fiber intake ratio are favorably associated with adiponectin and HbA1c, but only cereal fiber intake was associated with CRP in women. Further research is warranted to understand the potential mechanism of these associations in early progression of T2D.
    No preview · Article · Jan 2016 · Journal of Nutrition
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    ABSTRACT: Importance Vitamin D deficiency has been associated with poor physical performance.Objective To determine the effectiveness of high-dose vitamin D in lowering the risk of functional decline.Design, Setting, and Participants One-year, double-blind, randomized clinical trial conducted in Zurich, Switzerland. The screening phase was December 1, 2009, to May 31, 2010, and the last study visit was in May 2011. The dates of our analysis were June 15, 2012, to October 10, 2015. Participants were 200 community-dwelling men and women 70 years and older with a prior fall.Interventions Three study groups with monthly treatments, including a low-dose control group receiving 24 000 IU of vitamin D3 (24 000 IU group), a group receiving 60 000 IU of vitamin D3 (60 000 IU group), and a group receiving 24 000 IU of vitamin D3 plus 300 μg of calcifediol (24 000 IU plus calcifediol group).Main Outcomes and Measures The primary end point was improving lower extremity function (on the Short Physical Performance Battery) and achieving 25-hydroxyvitamin D levels of at least 30 ng/mL at 6 and 12 months. A secondary end point was monthly reported falls. Analyses were adjusted for age, sex, and body mass index.Results The study cohort comprised 200 participants (men and women ≥70 years with a prior fall). Their mean age was 78 years, 67.0% (134 of 200) were female, and 58.0% (116 of 200) were vitamin D deficient (<20 ng/mL) at baseline. Intent-to-treat analyses showed that, while 60 000 IU and 24 000 IU plus calcifediol were more likely than 24 000 IU to result in 25-hydroxyvitamin D levels of at least 30 ng/mL (P = .001), they were not more effective in improving lower extremity function, which did not differ among the treatment groups (P = .26). However, over the 12-month follow-up, the incidence of falls differed significantly among the treatment groups, with higher incidences in the 60 000 IU group (66.9%; 95% CI, 54.4% to 77.5%) and the 24 000 IU plus calcifediol group (66.1%; 95% CI, 53.5%-76.8%) group compared with the 24 000 IU group (47.9%; 95% CI, 35.8%-60.3%) (P = .048). Consistent with the incidence of falls, the mean number of falls differed marginally by treatment group. The 60 000 IU group (mean, 1.47) and the 24 000 IU plus calcifediol group (mean, 1.24) had higher mean numbers of falls compared with the 24 000 IU group (mean, 0.94) (P = .09).Conclusions and Relevance Although higher monthly doses of vitamin D were effective in reaching a threshold of at least 30 ng/mL of 25-hydroxyvitamin D, they had no benefit on lower extremity function and were associated with increased risk of falls compared with 24 000 IU.Trial Registration Identifier: NCT01017354
    No preview · Article · Jan 2016 · JAMA Internal Medicine
  • Lea Borgi · Isao Muraki · Ambika Satija · Walter C Willett · Eric B Rimm · John P Forman
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    ABSTRACT: Increased fruit and vegetable intake lowers blood pressure in short-term interventional studies. However, data on the association of long-term intake of fruits and vegetables with hypertension risk are scarce. We prospectively examined the independent association of whole fruit (excluding juices) and vegetable intake, as well as the change in consumption of whole fruits and vegetables, with incident hypertension in 3 large longitudinal cohort studies: Nurses' Health Study (n=62 175), Nurses' Health Study II (n=88 475), and Health Professionals Follow-up Study (n=36 803). We calculated hazard ratios and 95% confidence intervals for fruit and vegetable consumption while controlling for hypertension risk factors. Compared with participants whose consumption was ≤4 servings/week, the pooled hazard ratios among those whose intake was ≥4 servings/day were 0.92(0.87-0.97) for total whole fruit intake and 0.95(0.86-1.04) for total vegetable intake. Similarly, compared with participants who did not increase their fruit or vegetable consumption, the pooled hazard ratios for those whose intake increased by ≥7 servings/week were 0.94(0.90-0.97) for total whole fruit intake and 0.98(0.94-1.01) for total vegetable. Analyses of individual fruits and vegetables yielded different results. Consumption levels of ≥4 servings/week (as opposed to <1 serving/month) of broccoli, carrots, tofu or soybeans, raisins, and apples was associated with lower hypertension risk. In conclusion, our results suggest that greater long-term intake and increased consumption of whole fruits may reduce the risk of developing hypertension.
    No preview · Article · Dec 2015 · Hypertension
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    ABSTRACT: The influence of adiposity over life course on cancer risk remains poorly understood. We assessed trajectories of body shape from age 5 up to 60 using a group-based modeling approach among 73,581 women from the Nurses' Health Study and 32,632 men from the Health Professionals Follow-up Study. After a median of approximately 10 years of follow-up, we compared incidence of total and obesity-related cancers (cancers of the esophagus [adenocarcinoma only], colorectum, pancreas, breast [after menopause], endometrium, ovaries, prostate [advanced only], kidney, liver and gallbladder) between these trajectories. We identified 5 distinct trajectories of body shape: lean-stable, lean-moderate increase, lean-marked increase, medium-stable, and heavy-stable/increase. Compared with women in the lean-stable trajectory, those in the lean-marked increase and heavy-stable/increase trajectories had a higher cancer risk in the colorectum, esophagus, pancreas, kidney, and endometrium (relative risk [RR] ranged from 1.22 to 2.56). Early life adiposity was inversely while late life adiposity was positively associated with postmenopausal breast cancer risk. In men, increased body fatness at any life period was associated with a higher risk of esophageal adenocarcinoma and colorectal cancer (RR ranged from 1.23 to 3.01), and the heavy-stable/increase trajectory was associated with a higher risk of pancreatic cancer, but lower risk of advanced prostate cancer. The trajectory-cancer associations were generally stronger for non-smokers and women who did not use menopausal hormone therapy. In conclusion, trajectories of body shape throughout life were related to cancer risk with varied patterns by sex and organ, indicating a role for lifetime adiposity in carcinogenesis. This article is protected by copyright. All rights reserved.
    No preview · Article · Dec 2015 · International Journal of Cancer
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    ABSTRACT: Benign breast disease (BBD) is a well-established risk factor for breast cancer, but little work has considered a girl's early life and her risk for BBD in adulthood. We investigated factors, from pre-conception through infant feeding practices, in relation to subsequent BBD risk in young women. The Growing Up Today Study (GUTS) includes 9032 females, born 1980-1987, who completed questionnaires annually from 1996 through 2001, then 2003, 2005, 2007, 2010, and 2013. In 1996, their mothers provided each participant's birth weight and length, gestational age, biological father's height, and infant feeding factors (e.g., breast-fed, type of formula). In 1999, their mothers reported maternal pre-pregnancy weight and weight gain during index pregnancy. Beginning in 2005, daughters (18 years+) reported whether they had ever been diagnosed with biopsy-confirmed BBD (n = 142 cases, through 2013). Logistic regression estimated associations between early life factors and biopsy-confirmed BBD. Girls whose mother's BMI prior to pregnancy was 20-25 kg/m(2) were at lower risk of BBD as young women (OR = 0.66, p = 0.04, vs. maternal pre-pregnancy BMI < 20). Girls whose mothers gained 20 + pounds (vs. <20 pounds) during pregnancy were at lower risk (among full-term singleton births: OR = 0.48, p = 0.007, if mother gained 20-35 pounds). However, neither birth weight nor BMI at birth were associated with subsequent BBD risk. We found no evidence that infant feeding practices were linked to BBD. A healthy maternal BMI before pregnancy and sufficient weight gain during pregnancy may produce daughters at lower risk for BBD as young women. Further examination of these findings is needed.
    Full-text · Article · Nov 2015 · Breast Cancer Research and Treatment
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    ABSTRACT: Background: Flavonoids inhibit the growth of colon cancer cells in vitro. In a secondary analysis of a randomized controlled trial, the Polyp Prevention Trial, a higher intake of one subclass, flavonols, was statistically significantly associated with a reduced risk of recurrent advanced adenoma. Most previous prospective studies on colorectal cancer evaluated only a limited number of flavonoid subclasses and intake ranges, yielding inconsistent results. Objective: In this study, we examined whether higher habitual dietary intakes of flavonoid subclasses (flavonols, flavones, flavanones, flavan-3-ols, and anthocyanins) were associated with a lower risk of colorectal cancer. Design: Using data from validated food-frequency questionnaires administered every 4 y and an updated flavonoid food composition database, we calculated flavonoid intakes for 42,478 male participants from the Health Professionals Follow-Up Study and for 76,364 female participants from the Nurses' Health Study. Results: During up to 26 y of follow-up, 2519 colorectal cancer cases (1061 in men, 1458 in women) were documented. Intakes of flavonoid subclasses were not associated with risk of colorectal cancer in either cohort. Pooled multivariable adjusted RRs (95% CIs) comparing the highest with the lowest quintiles were 1.04 (0.91, 1.18) for flavonols, 1.01 (0.89, 1.15) for flavones, 0.96 (0.84, 1.10) for flavanones, 1.07 (0.95, 1.21) for flavan-3-ols, and 0.98 (0.81, 1.19) for anthocyanins (all P values for heterogeneity by sex >0.19). In subsite analyses, flavonoid intake was also not associated with colon or rectal cancer risk. Conclusion: Our findings do not support the hypothesis that a higher habitual intake of any flavonoid subclass decreases the risk of colorectal cancer.
    Preview · Article · Nov 2015 · American Journal of Clinical Nutrition
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    ABSTRACT: Background: Carbohydrate quality may be an important determinant of type 2 diabetes (T2D); however, relations between various carbohydrate quality metrics and T2D risk have not been systematically investigated. Objective: The purpose of this study was to prospectively examine the association between carbohydrates, starch, fibers, and different combinations of these nutrients and risk of T2D in women. Design: We prospectively followed 70,025 women free of cardiovascular disease, cancer, and diabetes at baseline from the Nurses' Health Study (1984-2008). Diet information was collected with the use of a validated questionnaire every 4 y. Cox regression was used to evaluate associations with incident T2D. Results: During 1,484,213 person-years of follow-up, we ascertained 6934 incident T2D cases. In multivariable analyses, when extreme quintiles were compared, higher carbohydrate intake was not associated with T2D (RR = 0.98; 95% CI: 0.89, 1.08; P-trend = 0.84), whereas starch was associated with a higher risk (RR = 1.23; 95% CI: 1.12, 1.35; P-trend <0.0001). Total fiber (RR = 0.80; 95% CI: 0.72, 0.89; P-trend < 0.0001), cereal fiber (RR = 0.71, 95% CI: 0.65, 0.78; P-trend < 0.0001), and fruit fiber (RR = 0.79; 95% CI: 0.72, 0.85; P-trend < 0.0001) were associated with a lower T2D risk. The ratio of carbohydrate to total fiber intake was marginally associated with a higher risk of T2D (RR = 1.09; 95% CI: 1.00, 1.20; P-trend = 0.04). On the other hand, we found positive associations between the ratios of carbohydrate to cereal fiber (RR = 1.28; 95% CI: 1.17, 1.39; P-trend < 0.0001), starch to total fiber (RR = 1.12; 95% CI: 1.02, 1.23; P-trend = 0.03), and starch to cereal fiber (RR = 1.39; 95% CI: 1.27, 1.53; P-trend < 0.0001) and T2D. Conclusions: Diets with high starch, low fiber, and a high starch-to-cereal fiber ratio were associated with a higher risk of T2D. The starch-to-cereal fiber ratio of the diet may be a novel metric for assessing carbohydrate quality in relation to T2D.
    No preview · Article · Nov 2015 · American Journal of Clinical Nutrition
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    ABSTRACT: Objective: According to most prospective studies, being underweight (BMI<18·5 kg/m2) is associated with significantly higher mortality than being of normal weight, especially among smokers. We aimed to explore in a generally lean population whether being underweight is significantly associated with increased all-cause mortality. Design: Prospective cohort study. Setting: Korea Medical Insurance Corporation study with 14 years of follow-up. Subjects: After excluding deaths within the first 5 years of follow-up (1993-1997) to minimize reverse causation and excluding participants without information about smoking and health status, 94 133 men and 48 496 women aged 35-59 years in 1990 were included. Results: We documented 5411 (5·7 %) deaths in men and 762 (1·6 %) in women. Among never smokers, hazard ratios (HR) for underweight individuals were not significantly higher than those for normal-weight individuals (BMI=18·5-22·9 kg/m2): HR=0·87 (95 % CI 0·41, 1·84, P=0·72) for underweight men and HR=1·12 (95 % CI 0·76, 1·65, P=0·58) for underweight women. Among ex-smokers, HR=0·86 (95 % CI 0·38, 1·93, P=0·72) for underweight men and HR=3·77 (95 % CI 0·42, 32·29, P=0·24) for underweight women. Among current smokers, HR=1·60 (95 % CI 1·28, 2·01, P<0·001) for underweight men and HR=2·07 (95 % CI 0·43, 9·94, P=0·36) for underweight women. Conclusions: The present study does not support that being underweight per se is associated with increased all-cause mortality in Korean men and women.
    No preview · Article · Oct 2015 · Public Health Nutrition
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    ABSTRACT: Importance Despite strong biological plausibility, evidence from epidemiologic studies and clinical trials on the relations between intakes of lutein and zeaxanthin and age-related macular degeneration (AMD) has been inconsistent. The roles of other carotenoids are less thoroughly investigated.Objective To investigate the associations between intakes of carotenoids and AMD.Design, Setting, and Participants Prospective cohort study, with cohorts from the Nurses’ Health Study and the Health Professionals Follow-up Study in the United States. A total of 63 443 women and 38 603 men were followed up, from 1984 until May 31, 2010, in the Nurses’ Health Study and from 1986 until January 31, 2010, in the Health Professionals Follow-up Study. All participants were aged 50 years or older and were free of diagnosed AMD, diabetes mellitus, cardiovascular disease, and cancer at baseline.Main Outcomes and Measures Predicted plasma carotenoid scores were computed directly from food intake, assessed by repeated food frequency questionnaires at baseline and follow-up, using validated regression models to account for bioavailability and reporting validity of different foods, and associations between predicted plasma carotenoid scores and AMD were determined.Results We confirmed 1361 incident intermediate and 1118 advanced AMD cases (primarily neovascular AMD) with a visual acuity of 20/30 or worse by medical record review. Comparing extreme quintiles of predicted plasma lutein/zeaxanthin score, we found a risk reduction for advanced AMD of about 40% in both women and men (pooled relative risk comparing extreme quintiles = 0.59; 95% CI, 0.48-0.73; P for trend < .001). Predicted plasma carotenoid scores for other carotenoids, including β-cryptoxanthin, α-carotene, and β-carotene, were associated with a 25% to 35% lower risk of advanced AMD when comparing extreme quintiles. The relative risk comparing extreme quintiles for the predicted plasma total carotenoid index was 0.65 (95% CI, 0.53-0.80; P for trend < .001). We did not identify any associations of carotenoids, either as predicted plasma score or calculated intake, with intermediate AMD.Conclusions and Relevance Higher intake of bioavailable lutein/zeaxanthin is associated with a long-term reduced risk of advanced AMD. Given that some other carotenoids are also associated with a lower risk, a public health strategy aimed at increasing dietary consumption of a wide variety of fruits and vegetables rich in carotenoids may reduce the incidence of advanced AMD.
    No preview · Article · Oct 2015 · Jama Ophthalmology
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    ABSTRACT: Background-Adherence to several diet quality scores, including the Alternative Healthy Eating Index, Alternative Mediterranean Diet score, and Dietary Approach to Stop Hypertension, has been associated with lower risk of cardiovascular disease (CVD), but little is known about how changes in these scores over time influence subsequent CVD risk. Methods and Results-We analyzed the association between 4-year changes in the 3 diet quality scores (Alternative Healthy Eating Index, Alternative Mediterranean Diet score, and Dietary Approach to Stop Hypertension) and subsequent cardiovascular disease (CVD) risk among 29 343 men in the Health Professionals Follow-up Study and 51 195 women in the Nurses' Health Study (1986-2010). During 1 394 702 person-years of follow-up, we documented 11 793 CVD cases. Compared with participants whose diet quality remained relatively stable in each 4-year period, those with the greatest improvement in diet quality scores had a 7% to 8% lower CVD risk in the subsequent 4-year period (pooled hazard ratio, 0.92 [95% confidence interval (CI), 0.87-0.99] for the Alternative Healthy Eating Index; 0.93 [95% CI, 0.85-1.02] for the Alternative Mediterranean Diet score; and 0.93 [95% CI, 0.87-0.99] for the Dietary Approach to Stop Hypertension; all P for trend < 0.05). In the long term, increasing the diet scores from baseline to the first 4-year follow-up was associated with lower CVD risk during the next 20 years (7% [95% CI, 1-12] for the Alternative Healthy Eating Index, and 9% [95% CI, 3-14] for the Alternative Mediterranean Diet score). A decrease in diet quality scores was associated with significantly elevated risk of CVD in subsequent time periods. Conclusions-Improving adherence to diet quality scores over time is associated with significantly lower CVD risk in both the short term and long term.
    Full-text · Article · Oct 2015 · Circulation

  • No preview · Article · Oct 2015 · Cancer Prevention Research
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    ABSTRACT: Major scholars in the field, on the basis of a 3-day consensus, created an in-depth review of current knowledge on the role of diet in cardiovascular disease (CVD), the changing global food system and global dietary patterns, and potential policy solutions. Evidence from different countries and age/race/ethnicity/socioeconomic groups suggesting the health effects studies of foods, macronutrients, and dietary patterns on CVD appear to be far more consistent though regional knowledge gaps is highlighted. Large gaps in knowledge about the association of macronutrients to CVD in low- and middle-income countries particularly linked with dietary patterns are reviewed. Our understanding of foods and macronutrients in relationship to CVD is broadly clear; however, major gaps exist both in dietary pattern research and ways to change diets and food systems. On the basis of the current evidence, the traditional Mediterranean-type diet, including plant foods and emphasis on plant protein sources provides a well-tested healthy dietary pattern to reduce CVD.
    Full-text · Article · Oct 2015 · Journal of the American College of Cardiology
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    ABSTRACT: Background The associations between dietary saturated fats and the risk of coronary heart disease (CHD) remain controversial, but few studies have compared saturated with unsaturated fats and sources of carbohydrates in relation to CHD risk. Objectives This study sought to investigate associations of saturated fats compared with unsaturated fats and different sources of carbohydrates in relation to CHD risk. Methods We followed 84,628 women (Nurses' Health Study, 1980 to 2010), and 42,908 men (Health Professionals Follow-up Study, 1986 to 2010) who were free of diabetes, cardiovascular disease, and cancer at baseline. Diet was assessed by a semiquantitative food frequency questionnaire every 4 years. Results During 24 to 30 years of follow-up, we documented 7,667 incident cases of CHD. Higher intakes of polyunsaturated fatty acids (PUFAs) and carbohydrates from whole grains were significantly associated with a lower risk of CHD comparing the highest with lowest quintile for PUFAs (hazard ratio [HR]: 0.80, 95% confidence interval [CI]: 0.73 to 0.88; p trend <0.0001) and for carbohydrates from whole grains (HR: 0.90, 95% CI: 0.83 to 0.98; p trend = 0.003). In contrast, carbohydrates from refined starches/added sugars were positively associated with a risk of CHD (HR: 1.10, 95% CI: 1.00 to 1.21; p trend = 0.04). Replacing 5% of energy intake from saturated fats with equivalent energy intake from PUFAs, monounsaturated fatty acids, or carbohydrates from whole grains was associated with a 25%, 15%, and 9% lower risk of CHD, respectively (PUFAs, HR: 0.75, 95% CI: 0.67 to 0.84; p < 0.0001; monounsaturated fatty acids, HR: 0.85, 95% CI: 0.74 to 0.97; p = 0.02; carbohydrates from whole grains, HR: 0.91, 95% CI: 0.85 to 0.98; p = 0.01). Replacing saturated fats with carbohydrates from refined starches/added sugars was not significantly associated with CHD risk (p > 0.10). Conclusions Our findings indicate that unsaturated fats, especially PUFAs, and/or high-quality carbohydrates can be used to replace saturated fats to reduce CHD risk.
    No preview · Article · Oct 2015 · Journal of the American College of Cardiology
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    ABSTRACT: Background: Although obesity has been linked to an increased risk of colorectal cancer (CRC), the risk associated with long-term status or change of body fat distribution has not been fully elucidated. Methods: Using repeated anthropometric assessments in the Nurses' Health Study and Health Professionals Follow-up Study, we prospectively investigated cumulative average waist circumference, hip circumference and waist-to-hip ratio, as well as their 10-year changes over adulthood, in relation to CRC risk over 23-24 years of follow-up. Cox proportional hazards models were used to calculate the hazard ratio (HR) and 95% confidence interval (CI). Results: High waist circumference, hip circumference and waist-to-hip ratio were all associated with a higher CRC risk in men, even after adjusting for body mass index. The association was attenuated to null in women after adjusting for body mass index. Ten-year gain of waist circumference was positively associated with CRC risk in men (P for trend = 0.03), but not in women (P for trend = 0.34).Compared with men maintaining their waist circumference, those gaining waist circumference by ≥ 10 cm were at a higher risk of CRC, with a multivariable-adjusted HR of 1.59 (95% CI, 1.01-2.49). This association appeared to be independent of weight change. Conclusions: Abdominal adiposity, independent of overall obesity, is associated with an increased CRC risk in men but not in women. Our findings also provide the first prospective evidence that waist circumference gain during adulthood may be associated with higher CRC risk in men, thus highlighting the importance of maintaining a healthy waist for CRC prevention.
    No preview · Article · Sep 2015 · International Journal of Epidemiology
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    ABSTRACT: Background: Current dietary guidelines recommend eating a variety of fruits and vegetables. However, based on nutrient composition, some particular fruits and vegetables may be more or less beneficial for maintaining or achieving a healthy weight. We hypothesized that greater consumption of fruits and vegetables with a higher fiber content or lower glycemic load would be more strongly associated with a healthy weight. Methods and findings: We examined the association between change in intake of specific fruits and vegetables and change in weight in three large, prospective cohorts of 133,468 United States men and women. From 1986 to 2010, these associations were examined within multiple 4-y time intervals, adjusting for simultaneous changes in other lifestyle factors, including other aspects of diet, smoking status, and physical activity. Results were combined using a random effects meta-analysis. Increased intake of fruits was inversely associated with 4-y weight change: total fruits -0.53 lb per daily serving (95% CI -0.61, -0.44), berries -1.11 lb (95% CI -1.45, -0.78), and apples/pears -1.24 lb (95% CI -1.62, -0.86). Increased intake of several vegetables was also inversely associated with weight change: total vegetables -0.25 lb per daily serving (95% CI -0.35, -0.14), tofu/soy -2.47 lb (95% CI, -3.09 to -1.85 lb) and cauliflower -1.37 lb (95% CI -2.27, -0.47). On the other hand, increased intake of starchy vegetables, including corn, peas, and potatoes, was associated with weight gain. Vegetables having both higher fiber and lower glycemic load were more strongly inversely associated with weight change compared with lower-fiber, higher-glycemic-load vegetables (p < 0.0001). Despite the measurement of key confounders in our analyses, the potential for residual confounding cannot be ruled out, and although our food frequency questionnaire specified portion size, the assessment of diet using any method will have measurement error. Conclusions: Increased consumption of fruits and non-starchy vegetables is inversely associated with weight change, with important differences by type suggesting that other characteristics of these foods influence the magnitude of their association with weight change.
    Preview · Article · Sep 2015 · PLoS Medicine
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    ABSTRACT: Background: The insidious pace of long-term weight gain (∼1 lb/y or 0.45 kg/y) makes it difficult to study in trials; long-term prospective cohorts provide crucial evidence on its key contributors. Most previous studies have evaluated how prevalent lifestyle habits relate to future weight gain rather than to lifestyle changes, which may be more temporally and physiologically relevant. Objective: Our objective was to evaluate and compare different methodological approaches for investigating diet, physical activity (PA), and long-term weight gain. Methods: In 3 prospective cohorts (total n = 117,992), we assessed how lifestyle relates to long-term weight change (up to 24 y of follow-up) in 4-y periods by comparing 3 analytic approaches: 1) prevalent diet and PA and 4-y weight change (prevalent analysis); 2) 4-y changes in diet and PA with a 4-y weight change (change analysis); and 3) 4-y change in diet and PA with weight change in the subsequent 4 y (lagged-change analysis). We compared these approaches and evaluated the consistency across cohorts, magnitudes of associations, and biological plausibility of findings. Results: Across the 3 methods, consistent, robust, and biologically plausible associations were seen only for the change analysis. Results for prevalent or lagged-change analyses were less consistent across cohorts, smaller in magnitude, and biologically implausible. For example, for each serving of a sugar-sweetened beverage, the observed weight gain was 0.01 lb (95% CI: -0.08, 0.10) [0.005 kg (95% CI: -0.04, 0.05)] based on prevalent analysis; 0.99 lb (95% CI: 0.83, 1.16) [0.45 kg (95% CI: 0.38, 0.53)] based on change analysis; and 0.05 lb (95% CI: -0.10, 0.21) [0.02 kg (95% CI: -0.05, 0.10)] based on lagged-change analysis. Findings were similar for other foods and PA. Conclusions: Robust, consistent, and biologically plausible relations between lifestyle and long-term weight gain are seen when evaluating lifestyle changes and weight changes in discrete periods rather than in prevalent lifestyle or lagged changes. These findings inform the optimal methods for evaluating lifestyle and long-term weight gain and the potential for bias when other methods are used.
    No preview · Article · Sep 2015 · Journal of Nutrition
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    ABSTRACT: Alcohol consumption is a consistent risk factor for breast cancer, although it is unclear whether the association varies by breast cancer molecular subtype. We investigated associations between cumulative average alcohol intake and risk of breast cancer by molecular subtype among 105,972 women in the prospective Nurses' Health Study (NHS) cohort, followed from 1980 to 2006. Breast cancer molecular subtypes were defined according to estrogen receptor (ER), progesterone receptor (PR), human epidermal growth factor 2 (HER2), cytokeratin 5/6 (CK5/6) and epidermal growth factor (EGFR) status from immunostained tumor microarrays in combination with histologic grade. Multivariable Cox proportional hazards models were used to estimate hazard ratios (HR) and 95% confidence intervals (CI). Competing risk analyses were used to assess heterogeneity by subtype. We observed suggestive heterogeneity in associations between alcohol and breast cancer by subtype (phet =0.06). Alcohol consumers had an increased risk of luminal A breast cancers (n=1,628 cases, per 10g/day increment HR (95%CI) =1.10(1.05-1.15)), and an increased risk that was suggestively stronger for HER2-type breast cancer (n=160 cases, HR (95%CI) =1.16(1.02-1.33)). We did not observe statistically significant associations between alcohol and risk of luminal B (n=631 cases, HR (95%CI) =1.08(0.99-1.16)), basal-like (n=254 cases, HR (95%CI) =0.90(0.77-1.04)), or unclassified (n=87 cases, HR (95%CI) =0.90(0.71-1.14)) breast cancer. Alcohol consumption was associated with increased risk of luminal A and HER2-type breast cancer, but not significantly associated with other subtypes. Given that estrogen receptors are expressed in luminal A but not in HER2-type tumors, our findings suggest that other mechanisms may play a role in the association between alcohol and breast cancer. This article is protected by copyright. All rights reserved. © 2014 Wiley Periodicals, Inc.
    No preview · Article · Sep 2015 · International Journal of Cancer

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  • 2015
    • Universidad de Navarra
      Iruña, Navarre, Spain
    • Dana-Farber Cancer Institute
      • Department of Medical Oncology
      Boston, Massachusetts, United States
  • 2001-2015
    • Brigham and Women's Hospital
      • • Channing Division of Network Medicine
      • • Department of Medicine
      Boston, Massachusetts, United States
  • 1994-2015
    • Harvard University
      • Department of Nutrition
      Cambridge, Massachusetts, United States
  • 1984-2015
    • Harvard Medical School
      • • Division of Nutrition
      • • Department of Medicine
      Boston, Massachusetts, United States
  • 2014
    • Tufts University
      Бостон, Georgia, United States
    • Massachusetts Department of Public Health
      Boston, Massachusetts, United States
  • 2010
    • National Cancer Institute (USA)
      • Division of Cancer Epidemiology and Genetics
      베서스다, Maryland, United States
  • 1998
    • Centers for Disease Control and Prevention
      • Division of Nutrition, Physical Activity, and Obesity
      Druid Hills, GA, United States
  • 1986
    • Boston University
      Boston, Massachusetts, United States
  • 1983
    • University of Missouri
      Columbia, Missouri, United States