Methods of epidemiology: Evaluating the fatg-breast cancer hypothesis g- comparing dietary instruments and other developments

Laurence S. Freedman, Victor Kipnis, Arthur Schatzkin, Nancy Potischman

Research output: Contribution to journalReview articlepeer-review

16 Scopus citations

Abstract

Results from several large cohort studies that were reported 10 to 20 years ago seemed to indicate that the hypothesized link between dietary fat intake and breast cancer risk was illusory. In this article, we review several strands of more recent evidence that have emerged. These include two studies comparing the performance of dietary instruments used to investigate the dietary fat- breast cancer hypothesis, a large randomized disease prevention trial, a more recent meta-analysis of nutritional cohort studies, and a very large nutritional cohort study. Each of the studies discussed in this article suggests that a modest but real association between fat intake and breast cancer is likely. If the association is causative, it would have important implications for public health strategies in reducing breast cancer incidence. The evidence is not yet conclusive, but additional follow-up in the randomized trial, as well as efforts to improve dietary assessment methodology for cohort studies, may be sufficient to provide a convincing answer.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)69-74
Number of pages6
JournalCancer journal (Sudbury, Mass.)
Volume14
Issue number2
DOIs
StatePublished - Mar 2008
Externally publishedYes

Keywords

  • Breast cancer
  • Dietary fat
  • Dietary measurement error
  • Food frequency questionnaire
  • Multiple-day food record

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