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Journal Articles BMC Medicine Year : 2021

Dietary intake of trans fatty acids and breast cancer risk in 9 European countries

1 CIRC - Centre international de Recherche sur le Cancer
2 CESP - Centre de recherche en épidémiologie et santé des populations
3 IGR - Institut Gustave Roussy
4 UiT - The Arctic University of Norway [Tromsø, Norway]
5 IdiSNA - Instituto de Investigación Sanitaria de Navarra [Pamplona, Spain]
6 CIBERESP - Centro de Investigación Biomédica en Red de Epidemiología y Salud Pública = Consortium for Biomedical Research of Epidemiology and Public Health
7 UPNA - Universidad Pública de Navarra [Espagne] = Public University of Navarra
8 ibs.GRANADA Instituto de Investigación Biosanitaria [Granada, Spain]
9 UGR - Universidad de Granada = University of Granada
10 EASP - Escuela Andaluza de Salud Pública [Granada, Spain]
11 DKFZ - German Cancer Research Center - Deutsches Krebsforschungszentrum [Heidelberg]
12 DZD - German Center for Diabetes Research - Deutsches Zentrum für Diabetesforschung [Neuherberg]
13 GIHNP-R - German Institute of Human Nutrition Potsdam-Rehbruecke [Nuthetal, Germany]
14 IIS Biodonostia - Biodonostia Health Research Institute [Donostia-San Sebastian, Spain]
15 IDIBELL - Institut d'Investigació Biomèdica de Bellvitge = Bellvitge Biomedical Research Institute
16 IMIB-Arrixaca [Murcia, Spain]
17 Universidad de Antioquia = University of Antioquia [Medellín, Colombia]
18 PHD - Public Health Directorate [Asturias, Spain]
19 ASP 7 - Provincial Health Authority = Azienda Sanitaria Provinciale [Ragusa]
20 Université de Naples
21 ISPRO - Istituto per lo studio, la prevenzione e la rete oncologica = Institute for Cancer Research, Prevention and Clinical Network
22 IRCCS Istituto Nazionale dei Tumori [Milano]
23 City of Health and Science University Hospital [Turin, Italy]
24 DCSRC - Danish Cancer Society Research Center [Copenhagen, Denmark]
25 UCPH - University of Copenhagen = Københavns Universitet
26 Aarhus University [Aarhus]
27 Skane University Hospital [Lund]
28 Umeå University, Sweden
29 Imperial College London
30 Bjørknes University College [Oslo, Norvège]
31 Oslo University Hospital [Oslo]
32 University of Oxford
Salvatore Panico
Neil Murphy
  • Function : Author
  • PersonId : 1106800


Background: Trans fatty acids (TFAs) have been hypothesised to influence breast cancer risk. However, relatively few prospective studies have examined this relationship, and well-powered analyses according to hormone receptor-defined molecular subtypes, menopausal status, and body size have rarely been conducted. Methods: In the European Prospective Investigation into Cancer and Nutrition (EPIC), we investigated the associations between dietary intakes of TFAs (industrial trans fatty acids [ITFAs] and ruminant trans fatty acids [RTFAs]) and breast cancer risk among 318,607 women. Multivariable hazard ratios (HRs) and 95% confidence intervals (CIs) were estimated using Cox proportional hazards models, adjusted for other breast cancer risk factors. Results: After a median follow-up of 8.1 years, 13,241 breast cancer cases occurred. In the multivariable-adjusted model, higher total ITFA intake was associated with elevated breast cancer risk (HR for highest vs lowest quintile, 1.14, 95% CI 1.06-1.23; P trend = 0.001). A similar positive association was found between intake of elaidic acid, the predominant ITFA, and breast cancer risk (HR for highest vs lowest quintile, 1.14, 95% CI 1.06-1.23; P trend = 0.001). Intake of total RTFAs was also associated with higher breast cancer risk (HR for highest vs lowest quintile, 1.09, 95% CI 1.01-1.17; P trend = 0.015). For individual RTFAs, we found positive associations with breast cancer risk for dietary intakes of two strongly correlated fatty acids (Spearman correlation r = 0.77), conjugated linoleic acid (HR for highest vs lowest quintile, 1.11, 95% CI 1.03-1.20; P trend = 0.001) and palmitelaidic acid (HR for highest vs lowest quintile, 1.08, 95% CI 1.01-1.16; P trend = 0.028). Similar associations were found for total ITFAs and RTFAs with breast cancer risk according to menopausal status, body mass index, and breast cancer subtypes. Conclusions: These results support the hypothesis that higher dietary intakes of ITFAs, in particular elaidic acid, are associated with elevated breast cancer risk. Due to the high correlation between conjugated linoleic acid and palmitelaidic acid, we were unable to disentangle the positive associations found for these fatty acids with breast cancer risk. Further mechanistic studies are needed to identify biological pathways that may underlie these associations.
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Dates and versions

inserm-03312631 , version 1 (02-08-2021)




Michèle Matta, Inge Huybrechts, Carine Biessy, Corinne Casagrande, Sahar Yammine, et al.. Dietary intake of trans fatty acids and breast cancer risk in 9 European countries. BMC Medicine, 2021, 19 (1), pp.81. ⟨10.1186/s12916-021-01952-3⟩. ⟨inserm-03312631⟩
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