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Posted: 21st November 2011

Summary and meta-analysis of prospective studies of animal fat intake and breast cancer.

The objective of the present review was to examine the potential association between animal fat intake and breast cancer. We conducted a meta-analysis and review of epidemiological cohort studies, including data reported in the Pooling Project publication of Prospective Studies of Diet and Cancer. Random- and fixed-effects models were utilised to generate summary relative risk estimates (SRRE), and sensitivity and influence analyses were conducted. In the meta-analysis that included data reported in the Pooling Project publication of prospective cohorts (n 8) and subsequent publications of cohort studies (n 3), no significant association was observed comparing the highest category of animal fat intake with the lowest (SRRE 1.03; 95 % CI: 0.76, 1.40). Similarly, no significant association between a 5 % increment of energy from animal fat intake and breast cancer (SRRE 1.02; 95 % CI 0.97, 1.07) was observed in the meta-analysis of these studies. In conclusion, the results of the present quantitative assessment are not supportive of a positive independent association between consumption of animal fat and breast cancer, although findings may be sensitive to the type of dietary instrument used in cohort studies.