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BACKGROUND/OBJECTIVES: In spite of several studies relating dietary patterns to breast cancer risk, evidence so far remains inconsistent. This study aimed to investigate associations of dietary patterns derived with three different methods with breast cancer risk. SUBJECTS/METHODS: The Mediterranean Diet Score (MDS), principal components analyses (PCA) and reduced rank regression (RRR) were used to derive dietary patterns in a case-control study of 610 breast cancer cases and 1891 matched controls within four UK cohort studies. Dietary intakes were collected prospectively using 4- to 7-day food diaries and resulting food consumption data were grouped into 42 food groups. Conditional logistic regression models were used to estimate odds ratios (ORs) for associations between pattern scores and breast cancer risk adjusting for relevant covariates. A separate model was fitted for post-menopausal women only. RESULTS: The MDS was not associated with breast cancer risk (OR comparing first tertile with third 1.20 (95% CI 0.92; 1.56)), nor the first PCA-derived dietary pattern, explaining 2.7% of variation of diet and characterized by cheese, crisps and savoury snacks, legumes, nuts and seeds (OR 1.18 (95% CI 0.91; 1.53)). The first RRR-derived pattern, a 'high-alcohol' pattern, was associated with a higher risk of breast cancer (OR 1.27; 95% CI 1.00; 1.62), which was most pronounced in post-menopausal women (OR 1.46 (95% CI 1.08; 1.98)). CONCLUSIONS: A 'high-alcohol' dietary pattern derived with RRR was associated with an increased breast cancer risk; no evidence of associations of other dietary patterns with breast cancer risk was observed in this study.

Original publication




Journal article


Eur J Clin Nutr

Publication Date





1353 - 1358


Breast Neoplasms, Case-Control Studies, Cohort Studies, Diet Records, Diet, Mediterranean, Feeding Behavior, Female, Humans, Incidence, Logistic Models, Middle Aged, Principal Component Analysis, Prospective Studies, United Kingdom