Meat and dairy food consumption and breast cancer: A pooled analysis of cohort studies

Stacey A. Missmer, Stephanie A. Smith-Warner, Donna Spiegelman, Shiaw Shyuan Yaun, Hans Olov Adami, W. Lawrence Beeson, Piet A. Van Den Brandt, Gary E. Fraserf, Jo L. Freudenheim, R. Alexandra Goldbohm, Saxon Graham, Lawrence H. Kushi, Anthony B. Miller, John D. Potter, Thomas E. Rohan, Frank E. Speizer, Paolo Toniolo, Walter C. Willett, Alicja Wolk, Anne Zeleniuch-JacquotteDavid J. Hunter

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

235 Scopus citations


Background. More than 20 studies have investigated the relation between meat and dairy consumption and breast cancer risk with conflicting results. Our objective was evaluate the risk of breast cancer associated with meat and dairy food consumption and to assess whether non-dietary risk factors modify the relation. Methods. We combined the primary data from eight prospective cohort studies from North America and Western Europe with at least 200 incident breast cancer assessment of usual food and nutrient intakes, and a validation study of dietary assessment instrument. The pooled database included 351 041 women 7379 of whom were diagnosed with invasive breast cancer during to 15 year of follow-up. Results. We found no significant association between intakes of total meat, red me white meat, total dairy fluids, or total dairy solids and breast cancer risk. Categor analyses suggested a J-shaped association for egg consumption where, comp to women who did not eat eggs, breast cancer risk was slightly decreased am women who consumed <2 eggs per week but slightly increased among women who consumed ≥1 egg per day. Conclusions. We found no significant associations between intake of meat or dairy produ and risk of breast cancer. An inconsistent relation between egg consumption risk of breast cancer merits further investigation.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)78-85
Number of pages8
JournalInternational journal of epidemiology
Issue number1
StatePublished - 2002


  • Breast neoplasms
  • Dairy
  • Dietary studies
  • Epidemiology
  • Meat
  • Pooled analysis

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Epidemiology


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