Abstract Title:

Dietary cadmium exposure and risk of postmenopausal breast cancer: a population-based prospective cohort study.

Abstract Source:

Cancer Res. 2012 Mar 15 ;72(6):1459-66. PMID: 22422990

Abstract Author(s):

Bettina Julin, Alicja Wolk, Leif Bergkvist, Matteo Bottai, Agneta Akesson

Article Affiliation:

Authors' Affiliations: Divisions of Nutritional Epidemiology and Biostatistics, Institute of Environmental Medicine, Karolinska Institutet, Stockholm, Sweden; Department of Surgery and Centre for Clinical Research, Central Hospital, Västerås, Sweden; and Department of Epidemiology and Biostatistics, Arnold School of Public Health, University of South Carolina, Columbia, South Carolina.


The ubiquitous food contaminant cadmium has features of an estrogen mimetic that may promote the development of estrogen-dependent malignancies, such as breast cancer. However, no prospective studies of cadmium exposure and breast cancer risk have been reported. We examined the association between dietary cadmium exposure (at baseline, 1987) and the risk of overall and estrogen receptor (ER)-defined (ER(+) or ER(-)) breast cancer within a population-based prospective cohort of 55,987 postmenopausal women. During an average of 12.2 years of follow-up, 2,112 incident cases of invasive breast cancer were ascertained (1,626 ER(+) and 290 ER(-)). After adjusting for confounders, including consumption of whole grains and vegetables (which account for 40% of the dietary exposure, but also contain putative anticarcinogenic phytochemicals), dietary cadmium intake was positively associated with overall breast cancer tumors, comparing the highest tertile with the lowest [rate ratio (RR), 1.21; 95% confidence interval (CI), 1.07-1.36; P(trend) = 0.02]. Among lean and normal weight women, statistically significant associations were observed for all tumors (RR, 1.27; 95% CI, 1.07-1.50) and for ER(+) tumors (RR, 1.25; 95% CI, 1.03-1.52) and similar, but not statistically significant associations were found for ER(-) tumors (RR, 1.22; 95% CI, 0.76-1.93). The risk of breast cancer increased with increasing cadmium exposure similarly within each tertile of whole grain/vegetable consumption and decreased with increasing consumption of whole grain/vegetables within each tertile of cadmium exposure (P(interaction) = 0.73). Overall, these results suggest a role for dietary cadmium in postmenopausal breast cancer development. Cancer Res; 72(6); 1459-66.©2012 AACR.

Study Type : Human Study
Additional Links
Additional Keywords : Metaloestrogens : CK(10) : AC(1)
Problem Substances : Cadmium : CK(383) : AC(148)

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