Background:

There are no adequate studies to prove that diet plays a role in the cause of breast cancer.

Objective:

Researchers have investigated the relationship between the dietary patterns and the risk of breast cancer in Asian Americans.

Design:

A population based case-control study was conducted in Los Angeles County, which compared the dietary patterns between 1248 Asian American women with occurrence of breast cancer and 1148 age, ethnicity and neighborhood matched controls. Also, the relation between serum concentrations of estrogens, androgens and sex hormone-binding globulin (SHBG) and dietary patterns were studied in 2172 postmenopausal control women.

Results:

A scoring method proposed by Trichopoulou et al (1) was used. The study revealed that following a Mediterranean diet was inversely linked with the risk; and the odd ratio (OR) was 0.65 (95% CI:0.44, 0.95) in women with highest scores (> or = 8; most adhering ones) when compared with the lowest scores (0-3; P for trend = 0.009), after adjusting the covariates. Factor analysis was used to identify three dietary patterns (Western meat/starch, ethnic meat/starch and vegetables/soy). In a combined index of all the three patterns, it was observed that women with a high consumption of Western and ethnic meat/starch patterns and a low consumption of vegetables/soy diets displayed a higher risk (OR:2.19; 95% CI:1.40, 3.42; P for trend = 0.0005). SHBG concentrations were found to be 23% lower in women with a high consumption of meat/starch pattern and a low consumption of vegetable/soy pattern than in those with a low consumption of meat/starch pattern and a high consumption of vegetables/soy pattern (P for trend = 0.069).

Conclusion:

The results of the study suggested that a diet comprising of low amounts of meat/starches and high amounts of legumes is linked with a lower risk of breast cancer in Asian Americans.