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Healthy eating factors in long-term breast cancer survival

08 Mar 2020

Breast cancer survivors may do well to adhere to healthy dietary patterns, which help cut the risk of mortality and breast cancer-specific recurrence or/and death, a study has found.

Researchers looked at 3,450 5-year breast cancer survivors from the Shanghai Breast Cancer Survival Study. They collected dietary information via food frequency questionnaires at the postdiagnosis survey at year 5, creating adherence scores to Chinese Food Pagoda (CHFP)-2007, CHFP-2016, modified Dietary Approaches to Stop Hypertension (DASH), and Healthy Eating Index 2015 (HEI-2015).

Adherence scores to the four dietary recommendations were correlated. The highest vs lowest adherence quartile was associated with lower mortality risk, showing hazard ratios (HRs) of 0.66 (95 percent confidence interval [CI], 0.48–0.89) with CHFP-2007, 0.75 (95 percent CI, 0.55–1.01) with CHFP-2016, and 0.66 (95 percent CI, 0.49–0.91) with DASH.

Results were similar for the risk of breast cancer-specific events, and the highest vs lowest adherence quartile cut the risk by 36 percent with CHFP-2007 (HR, 0.64, 95 percent CI, 0.44–0.93), by 33 percent with CHFP-2016 (HR, 0.67, 95 percent CI, 0.45–0.99) and by 40 percent with DASH (HR, 0.60, 95 percent CI, 0.40–0.90).

Associations did not differ by known prognostic factors. Meanwhile, HEI-2015 scores showed no significant association with breast cancer outcomes.

The findings underscore the importance of overall dietary quality in long-term breast cancer survivors, according to the researchers, adding that healthy dietary patterns should be endorsed in the management of this population.

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