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Diet and predictors of dietary intakes in women with family history of breast and/or ovarian cancer



Dietary intakes of vegetable, fruit, fiber, folate, and B vitamins have been associated with reduced breast and/or ovarian cancer risk. However, few studies have assessed dietary intakes and factors associated with diet in women with family history of breast and/or ovarian cancer (FHBOC). We examined dietary intakes and predictors of diet in women with FHBOC (n=211) enrolled in a population-based cancer family registry.


We assessed diet via a food frequency questionnaire, family history by telephone and demographic variables by questionnaire. Descriptive statistics were performed, and multivariate linear regression analyses were conducted to examine variables [body mass index (BMI), age, parity, energy intake, alcohol use, smoking and education] associated with dietary intakes.


Mean daily intakes were: 2.57 vegetable servings [+/-standard deviation (SD) 1.22], 1.56 fruit servings (+/-0.9), 11.21g fiber (+/-5.32) and 33.85% energy from fat (+/-9.05), 241.98microg folate (+/-120.80) and 1.33mg vitamin B6 (+/-0.62). Regression analyses showed that younger age, smoking, lower education and higher BMI had a significant association with decreasing vegetable, fruit and/or fiber intakes. BMI had a significant positive association with % energy from fat. Similar results were observed when assessing independent variables with micronutrient intakes studied.


These data suggest that women with FHBOC should be encouraged to meet dietary guidelines for cancer prevention. Specifically, public health dietary interventions should target women with FHBOC who are smokers, less educated, have a higher BMI and are younger. Such interventions may potentially reduce breast and/or ovarian cancer risk in this population.

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