Dietary patterns and breast cancer risk among women in northern Tanzania: a case–control study

Irmgard Jordan, Antje Hebestreit, Britta Swai, Michael B. Krawinkel
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Background: Breast cancer is the second most common cancer among women in the Kilimanjaro Region of Tanzania. It was tested within a case–control study in this region whether a specific dietary pattern impacts on the breast cancer risk.

Methods: A validated semi-quantitative Food Frequency Questionnaire was used to assess the dietary intake of 115 female breast cancer patients and 230 healthy age-matched women living in the same districts. A logistic regression was performed to estimate breast cancer risk. Dietary patterns were obtained using principal component analysis with Varimax rotation.

Results: The adjusted logistic regression estimated an increased risk for a “Fatty Diet”, characterized by a higher consumption of milk, vegetable oils and fats, butter, lard and red meat (OR = 1.42, 95 % CI 1.08–1.87; P = 0.01), and for a “Fruity Diet”, characterized by a higher consumption of fish, mango, papaya, avocado and watery fruits (OR = 1.61, 95 % CI 1.14–2.28; P = 0.01). Both diets showed an inverse association with the ratio between polyunsaturated and saturated fatty acids (P/S ratio).


Conclusion: A diet characterized by a low P/S ratio seems to be more important for the development of breast cancer than total fat intake.