Better postdiagnosis diet quality is associated with reduced risk of death among postmenopausal women with invasive breast cancer in the women's health initiative

Academic Article


  • Background: Few studies have evaluated whether adherence to dietary recommendations is associated with mortality among cancer survivors. In breast cancer survivors, we examined how postdiagnosis Healthy Eating Index (HEI)-2005 scores were associated with all-cause and cause-specific mortality. Methods: Our prospective cohort study included 2,317 postmenopausal women, ages 50 to 79 years, in the Women's Health Initiative's Dietary Modification Trial (n = 1,205) and Observational Study (n = 1,112), who were diagnosed with invasive breast cancer and completed a food frequency questionnaire after being diagnosed. We followed women from this assessment forward. We used Cox proportional hazards models to estimate multivariate-adjusted HRs and 95% confidence intervals (CI) for death from any cause, breast cancer, and causes other than breast cancer, according to HEI-2005 quintiles. Results: Over 9.6 years, 415 deaths occurred. After adjustment for key covariates, women consuming better quality diets had a 26%lower risk of death from any cause (HRQ4:Q1, 0.74; 95% CI, 0.55-0.99; Ptrend = 0.043) and a 42% lower risk of death from non-breast cancer causes (HRQ4:Q1, 0.58; 95% CI, 0.38-0.87; P trend = 0.011). HEI-2005 score was not associated with breast cancer death (HRQ4:Q1, 0.91; 95% CI, 0.60-1.40; Ptrend = 0.627). In analyses stratified by tumor estrogen receptor (ER) status, better diet quality was associated with a reduced risk of all-cause mortality among women with ER+ tumors (n = 1,758; HRQ4:Q1, 0.55; 95% CI, 0.38-0.79; Ptrend = 0.0009). Conclusion: Better postdiagnosis diet quality was associated with reduced risk of death, particularly from non-breast cancer causes. Impact: Breast cancer survivors may experience improved survival by adhering to U.S. dietary guidelines. ©2014 AACR.
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    Author List

  • George SM; Ballard-Barbash R; Shikany JM; Caan BJ; Freudenheim JL; Kroenke CH; Vitolins MZ; Beresford SA; Neuhouser ML
  • Start Page

  • 575
  • End Page

  • 583
  • Volume

  • 23
  • Issue

  • 4