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October 21, 1992

High-Fat Diets and Breast Cancer RiskThe Epidemiologic Evidence

Author Affiliations

From the National Cancer Institute of Canada Epidemiology Unit, Department of Preventive Medicine and Biostatistics, University of Toronto, Ontario.

JAMA. 1992;268(15):2080-2081. doi:10.1001/jama.1992.03490150132039

Breast cancer is one of the major public health problems for women in the United States—currently a woman has an average lifetime probability of about 10% of developing the disease. In terms of its etiology, although breast cancer is among the most widely studied of cancers, risk factors that have been identified to date, such as late age at first full-term pregnancy, are not readily amenable to modification and hence prevention. This has served to focus both public and scientific attention on the hypothesis that high dietary fat intake increases risk of breast cancer. Thus, the latest results addressing this hypothesis from the US Nurses' Health Study, which are reported in this issue of THE Journal,1 are of considerable interest.

See also p 2037.

Three types of epidemiologic studies have provided evidence on the postulated association between fat intake and breast cancer risk. Ecologic studies have shown that there