Higher vitamin D and calcium intakes are related to lower mammographic density in premenopausal women, but not in postmenopausal women.
"A better understanding of factors that affect breast density, one of the strongest breast cancer risk indicators, may provide important clues about breast cancer etiology and prevention," scientists in Canada remarked. They conducted a study "to evaluate the association of vitamin D and calcium, from food and/or supplements, to breast density in premenopausal and postmenopausal women separately."
"A total of 777 premenopausal and 783 postmenopausal women recruited at two radiology clinics in Quebec City, Canada, in 2001 to 2002, completed a food frequency questionnaire to assess vitamin D and calcium."
S. Berube and colleagues wrote, "We assessed breast density from screening mammograms using a computer-assisted method. Associations between vitamin D or calcium and breast density were evaluated using linear regression models. Adjusted means in breast density were assessed according to the combined daily intakes of the two nutrients using generalized linear models."
"In premenopausal women," the authors found, "total intakes of vitamin D and calcium were inversely related to breast density (beta=-1.4; p=0.004 for vitamin D; beta=-0.8; p=0.0004 for calcium). In multivariate linear regression, simultaneous increments in daily total intakes of 400 IU vitamin D and 1,000 mg calcium were associated with an 8.5% (95% confidence interval, 1.8.1) lower mean breast density."
The investigators noted, "The negative association between dietary vitamin D intake and breast density tended to be stronger at higher levels of calcium intake and vice versa. Among postmenopausal women, intakes of vitamin D and calcium were not associated with breast density."
They concluded, "These findings show that higher intakes of vitamin D and calcium from food and supplements are related to lower levels of breast density among premenopausal women. They suggest that increasing intakes of vitamin D and calcium may represent a safe and inexpensive strategy for breast cancer prevention."
Berube and colleagues published their study in Cancer Epidemiology Biomarkers & Prevention (Vitamin D and calcium intakes from food or supplements and mammographic breast density. Cancer Epidemiol Biomarkers Prev, 2005;14(7):1653-1659).
For additional information, contact J. Brisson, University of Quebec, Hopital St. Sacrament, 1050 Chemin Sainte-Foy, Quebec City, Quebec G1S 4L8, Canada; E-mail: firstname.lastname@example.org.
The publisher's contact information for the journal Cancer Epidemiology Biomarkers & Prevention is: American Association for Cancer Research, 615 Chestnut Street, 17th Floor, Philadelphia, PA 19106-4404, USA.
This article was prepared by Biotech Week editors from staff and other reports. Copyright 2005, Biotech Week via NewsRx.com.
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