Fruits, vegetables, and micronutrients in relation to breast cancer modified by menopause and hormone receptor status

Mia M. Gaudet, Julie A. Britton, Geoffrey C. Kabat, Susan Steck-Scott, Sybil M. Eng, Susan L. Teitelbaum, Mary Beth Terry, Alfred I. Neugut, Marilie D. Gammon

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

130 Scopus citations


Whether fruit, vegetable, and antioxidant micronutrient consumption is associated with a reduction in breast cancer incidence remains unresolved. To address this issue, we analyzed data from a large population-based case-control study, with consideration given to whether the associations varied with menopausal status or with clinical characteristics of the cases' disease. Study participants completed a modified Block food frequency questionnaire, which included assessment of the frequency and portion sizes of 13 fruits and fruit juices and 16 vegetables and the use of multiple and single vitamin supplements. Statistical analyses were done on 1,463 cases and 1,500 controls. Among postmenopausal women, reduced odds ratios [OR; 95% confidence intervals (95% CI)] were noted for the highest fifth, as compared with the lowest fifth, of intake of any vegetables [0.63 (0.46-0.86); P for trend < 0.01] and leafy vegetables [0.66 (0.50-0.86); P for trend = 0.03] after controlling for age and energy intake. Adjusted ORs (95% CIs) were also decreased for postmenopausal breast cancer in relation to high intake of carotenoids, α-carotene, β-carotene, lutein, and particularly lycopene [0.66 (0.48-0.90); P for trend = 0.03]. Inverse associations for fruits and vegetables were stronger for postmenopausal women with estrogen receptor (ER)+ tumors (OR, 0.65; 95% CI, 0.51-0.82) than ER- tumors (OR, 0.92; 95% CI, 0.64-1.32), but results were less consistent for micronutrients. No similarly reduced associations were observed among premenopausal women. ORs did not appreciably differ by in situ or invasive breast cancer or by whether cases had begun chemotherapy. Our results support an inverse association for fruit and vegetable intake among postmenopausal but not premenopausal breast cancer, which may be more pronounced among women with ER+ tumors.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)1485-1494
Number of pages10
JournalCancer Epidemiology Biomarkers and Prevention
Issue number9
StatePublished - Sep 2004


Dive into the research topics of 'Fruits, vegetables, and micronutrients in relation to breast cancer modified by menopause and hormone receptor status'. Together they form a unique fingerprint.

Cite this