Purpose: Mammographic density is a strong risk factor for breast cancer. Although diet is associated with breast cancer risk, there are limited studies linking adult diet, including milk intake, with mammographic density. Here, we investigate the association of milk intake with mammographic density in premenopausal women. Methods: We analyzed data from 375 cancer-free premenopausal women who had routine screening mammography at Washington University School of Medicine, St. Louis, Missouri in 2016. We used Volpara to measure volumetric percent density, dense volume, and non-dense volume. We collected information on recent milk intake (past 12 months), and categorized skim milk and low/reduced-fat milk intake into 4 groups: < 1/week, 1/week, 2–6 times/week, ≥ 1/day, while whole and soy milk intake were categorized into 2 groups: < 1/week, ≥ 1/week. We used multivariable linear regression model to evaluate the associations of milk intake and log-transformed volumetric percent density, dense volume, and non-dense volume. Results: In multivariable analyses, volumetric percent density was 20% (p-value = 0.003) lower in the 1/week group, 14% (p-value = 0.047) lower in the 2–6/week group, and 12% (p-value = 0.144) lower in the ≥ 1/day group (p-trend = 0.011) compared with women who consumed low/reduced-fat milk < 1/week. Attenuated and non-significant associations were observed for low/reduced-fat milk intake and dense volume. There were no associations of whole, skim, and soy milk intake with volumetric percent density and dense volume. Conclusions: Recent low/reduced-fat milk intake was inversely associated with volumetric percent density in premenopausal women. Studies on childhood and adolescent milk intake and adult mammographic density in premenopausal women are needed.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)249-255
Number of pages7
JournalBreast Cancer Research and Treatment
Issue number1
StatePublished - Feb 28 2019


  • Breast cancer
  • Dairy
  • Diet
  • Mammographic density
  • Milk intake


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