Dietary intake of trans fatty acids and breast cancer risk in 9 European countries

Research output: Contribution to journal/Conference contribution in journal/Contribution to newspaperJournal articleResearchpeer-review

  • Michèle Matta, International Agency for Research on Cancer, France
  • Inge Huybrechts, International Agency for Research on Cancer, France
  • Carine Biessy, International Agency for Research on Cancer, France
  • Corinne Casagrande, International Agency for Research on Cancer, France
  • Sahar Yammine, International Agency for Research on Cancer, France
  • Agnès Fournier, Health Across Generations Team, CESP, Université Paris-Sud, UVSQ, INSERM, Université Paris-Saclay, Villejuif, France., Gustave Roussy, France
  • Karina Standahl Olsen, University of Tromsø, Tromsø, Norway
  • Marco Lukic, University of Tromsø, Tromsø, Norway
  • Inger Torhild Gram, University of Tromsø, Tromsø, Norway
  • Eva Ardanaz, Navarra Public Health Institute, Pamplona, Spain; IdiSNA, Navarra Institute for Health Research, Pamplona, Spain; CIBER Epidemiology and Public Health CIBERESP, Madrid, Spain., Spain
  • Maria-José Sánchez, Centro de Investigación Biomédica en Red en Epidemiología y Salud Pública (CIBERESP), Barcelona, Spain., Escuela Andaluza de Salud Pública (EASP), Granada, Instituto de Investigación Biosanitaria (ibs.GRANADA), Department of Preventive Medicine and Public Health, University of Granada, Granada, Spain
  • Laure Dossus, International Agency for Research on Cancer, France
  • Renée T Fortner, Division of Cancer Epidemiology, German Cancer Research Centre (DFKZ), Heidelberg, Germany., Germany
  • Bernard Srour, Division of Cancer Epidemiology, German Cancer Research Centre (DFKZ), Heidelberg, Germany., Germany
  • Franziska Jannasch, German Institute of Human Nutrition Potsdam-Rehbruecke, Potsdam, Germany., German Center for Diabetes Research (DZD), München-Neuherberg, NutriAct-Competence Cluster Nutrition Research Berlin-Potsdam, Nuthetal, Germany., Germany
  • Matthias B Schulze, German Institute of Human Nutrition Potsdam-Rehbruecke, Potsdam, Germany., Germany
  • Pilar Amiano, Centro de Investigación Biomédica en Red en Epidemiología y Salud Pública (CIBERESP), Barcelona, Spain., Public Health Division of Gipuzkoa, BioDonostia Research Institute, Donostia-San Sebastian, Spain
  • Antonio Agudo, Unit of Nutrition and Cancer, Catalan Institute of Oncology - ICO, Nutrition and Cancer Group, Bellvitge Biomedical Research Institute - IDIBELL, L'Hospitalet de Llobregat, Barcelona, Spain., Spain
  • Sandra Colorado-Yohar, Centro de Investigación Biomédica en Red en Epidemiología y Salud Pública (CIBERESP), Barcelona, Spain., Department of Epidemiology, Murcia Regional Health Council, IMIB-Arrixaca, Murcia, Spain., Research Group on Demography and Health, National Faculty of Public Health, University of Antioquia, Medellín, Colombia., Spain
  • J Ramón Quirós, Public Health Directorate, Asturias, Spain., Spain
  • Rosario Tumino, Provincial Health Authority (ASP), Italy
  • Salvatore Panico, Federici II University, Italy
  • Giovanna Masala, Institute for Cancer Research, Italy
  • Valeria Pala, Epidemiology and Prevention Unit, Milan, Italy., Italy
  • Carlotta Sacerdote, Unit of Cancer Epidemiology, Città della Salute e della Scienza University-Hospital and Center for Cancer Prevention (CPO), Turin, Italy., Italy
  • Anne Tjønneland, Danish Cancer Society Research Center, Danish Cancer Society, Copenhagen, Denmark., University of Copenhagen, Department of Public Health, Denmark
  • Anja Olsen
  • Christina C Dahm
  • Ann H Rosendahl, Skåne University Hospital, Department of Clinical Sciences Lund, Oncology and Pathology, Faculty of Medicine, Lund University, Lund, Sweden., Sweden
  • Signe Borgquist
  • Maria Wennberg, Section of Sustainable Medicine, Department of Public Health and Clinical Medicine, Umeå University, Umeå, Sweden
  • Alicia K Heath, Imperial College, London, United Kingdom
  • Dagfinn Aune, Imperial College, London, Bjørknes University College, Oslo, Norway., Ullevaal University Hospital, Oslo, Norway., United Kingdom
  • Julie Schmidt, Nuffield Department of Population Health, University of Oxford, Oxford, England., United Kingdom
  • Elisabete Weiderpass, Office of the Director, International Agency For Research On Cancer., France
  • Veronique Chajes, International Agency for Research on Cancer, France
  • Marc J Gunter, International Agency for Research on Cancer
  • ,
  • Neil Murphy, International Agency for Research on Cancer, France

BACKGROUND: Trans fatty acids (TFAs) have been hypothesised to influence breast cancer risk. However, relatively few prospective studies have examined this relationship, and well-powered analyses according to hormone receptor-defined molecular subtypes, menopausal status, and body size have rarely been conducted.

METHODS: In the European Prospective Investigation into Cancer and Nutrition (EPIC), we investigated the associations between dietary intakes of TFAs (industrial trans fatty acids [ITFAs] and ruminant trans fatty acids [RTFAs]) and breast cancer risk among 318,607 women. Multivariable hazard ratios (HRs) and 95% confidence intervals (CIs) were estimated using Cox proportional hazards models, adjusted for other breast cancer risk factors.

RESULTS: After a median follow-up of 8.1 years, 13,241 breast cancer cases occurred. In the multivariable-adjusted model, higher total ITFA intake was associated with elevated breast cancer risk (HR for highest vs lowest quintile, 1.14, 95% CI 1.06-1.23; P trend = 0.001). A similar positive association was found between intake of elaidic acid, the predominant ITFA, and breast cancer risk (HR for highest vs lowest quintile, 1.14, 95% CI 1.06-1.23; P trend = 0.001). Intake of total RTFAs was also associated with higher breast cancer risk (HR for highest vs lowest quintile, 1.09, 95% CI 1.01-1.17; P trend = 0.015). For individual RTFAs, we found positive associations with breast cancer risk for dietary intakes of two strongly correlated fatty acids (Spearman correlation r = 0.77), conjugated linoleic acid (HR for highest vs lowest quintile, 1.11, 95% CI 1.03-1.20; P trend = 0.001) and palmitelaidic acid (HR for highest vs lowest quintile, 1.08, 95% CI 1.01-1.16; P trend = 0.028). Similar associations were found for total ITFAs and RTFAs with breast cancer risk according to menopausal status, body mass index, and breast cancer subtypes.

CONCLUSIONS: These results support the hypothesis that higher dietary intakes of ITFAs, in particular elaidic acid, are associated with elevated breast cancer risk. Due to the high correlation between conjugated linoleic acid and palmitelaidic acid, we were unable to disentangle the positive associations found for these fatty acids with breast cancer risk. Further mechanistic studies are needed to identify biological pathways that may underlie these associations.

Original languageEnglish
Article number81
JournalBMC Medicine
Volume19
Issue1
Number of pages11
ISSN1741-7015
DOIs
Publication statusPublished - Mar 2021

    Research areas

  • industrial trans fatty acids, ruminant trans fatty acids, breast cancer, diet

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