Lack of Effects of Dietary Folate Intake on Risk of Breast Cancer: An Updated Meta-analysis of Prospective Studies

  • Liu, Meng (Department of Public Health, Qingdao University) ;
  • Cui, Lian-Hua (Department of Public Health, Qingdao University) ;
  • Ma, Ai-Guo (Department of Public Health, Qingdao University) ;
  • Li, Na (Department of Public Health, Qingdao University) ;
  • Piao, Jin-Mei (Department of Public Health, Qingdao University)
  • Published : 2014.03.01


Background: Epidemiological findings are controversial relating to the relationship between dietary folate intake and the risk of breast cancer. We therefore conducted a meta-analysis of prospective cohort studies to clarify this association. Materials and Methods: PUBMED, EMBASE, and MEDLINE databases were searched for all relevant literature published in English from January 1, 1966 to August 2013. Summary relative risk (RR) and 95% confidence intervals (CIs) were calculated using a fixed or random effects model. Results: Dietary folate intake was not significantly associated with the risk of breast cancer. The combined RR with 95%CI for the highest vs. lowest category dietary intake of folate [fifteen studies; 1,836,566 participants and 24,083 patients with breast cancer] was 0.98 (0.90-1.05). Among subgroup analysis by menstrual status, hormonal status and the consumption of alcohol, methionine and vitamin B12, no significant association was observed for the dietary intake of folate and the risk of breast cancer. Dose-response analysis showed that a 220 ${\mu}g/day$ increment in dietary folate intake was not associated with the risk of breast cancer. Conclusions: Our findings indicate that dietary folate intake has no significant effect on the risk of breast cancer.


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