Association between whole grain intake and breast cancer risk: a systematic review and meta-analysis of observational studies

Yunjun Xiao, Yuebin Ke, Shuang Wu, Suli Huang, Siguo Li, Ziquan Lv, Eng kiong Yeoh, Xiangqian Lao, Samuel Wong, Jean Hee Kim, Graham A. Colditz, Rulla M. Tamimi, Xuefen Su

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Abstract

Background: Epidemiological studies have found that high whole grain intake may be associated with a reduced risk of breast cancer. However, the evidence has not been consistent. We conducted a meta-analysis to quantitatively assess the association between whole grain intake and breast cancer risk. Methods: Relevant observational studies were identified by searching PubMed, Embase, Cochrane library databases, and Google Scholar through April 2017. Summary relative risk (RR) estimates were calculated using random-effects meta-analysis. Results: A total of 11 studies, including 4 cohort and 7 case-control studies and involving 131,151 participants and 11,589 breast cancer cases, were included in the current meta-analysis. The pooled RR of breast cancer for those with high versus low whole grain intake was 0.84 (95% confidence interval [CI]: 0.74 to 0.96, p = 0.009; I 2 = 63.8%, p for heterogeneity = 0.002). Subgroup analysis by study design found a significant inverse association in the case-control studies (RR: 0.69; 95% CI: 0.56 to 0.87, p = 0.001; I 2 = 58.2%, p for heterogeneity = 0.026), but not in the cohort studies (RR, 0.96; 95% CI: 0.82 to 1.14, p = 0.69; I 2 = 66.7%, p for heterogeneity = 0.029). In addition, stratified analysis suggested that sample size could be a potential source of heterogeneity. Conclusions: Results of the current meta-analysis suggest that high intake of whole grains might be inversely associated with a reduced risk of breast cancer, and the inverse association was only observed in case-control but not cohort studies. More large-scale cohort studies are needed to confirm the inverse association observed.

Original languageEnglish
Article number87
JournalNutrition Journal
Volume17
Issue number1
DOIs
StatePublished - Sep 21 2018

Keywords

  • Breast cancer
  • Meta-analysis
  • Observational studies
  • Whole grain

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    Xiao, Y., Ke, Y., Wu, S., Huang, S., Li, S., Lv, Z., Yeoh, E. K., Lao, X., Wong, S., Kim, J. H., Colditz, G. A., Tamimi, R. M., & Su, X. (2018). Association between whole grain intake and breast cancer risk: a systematic review and meta-analysis of observational studies. Nutrition Journal, 17(1), [87]. https://doi.org/10.1186/s12937-018-0394-2