Are imprecise methods obscuring a relation between fat and breast cancer?

TitleAre imprecise methods obscuring a relation between fat and breast cancer?
Publication TypeJournal Article
Year of Publication2003
AuthorsBingham, SA, Luben, R, Welch, A, Wareham, N, Khaw, K-T, Day, N
Date Published2003 Jul 19
KeywordsAged, Breast Neoplasms, Cohort Studies, Diet Records, Dietary Fats, Eating, Female, Health Status, Humans, Incidence, Male, Middle Aged, Research Design, Risk Factors, Surveys and Questionnaires

Pooled analyses of cohort studies show no relation between fat intake and breast-cancer risk. However, food-frequency questionnaire (FFQ) methods used in these studies are prone to measurement error. We assessed diet with an FFQ and a detailed 7-day food diary in 13070 women between 1993 and 1997. We compared 168 breast-cancer cases incident by 2000 with four matched controls. Risk of breast cancer was associated with saturated-fat intake measured with the food diary (hazard ratio 1.22 [95% CI 1.06-1.40], p=0.005, per quintile increase in energy-adjusted fat intake), but not with saturated fat measured with the FFQ (1.10 [0.94-1.29], p=0.23). Dietary measurement error might explain the absence of a significant association between dietary fat and breast-cancer risk in cohort studies.

Alternate JournalLancet
Citation Key10.1016/S0140-6736(03)13913-X
PubMed ID12885485