Breast Cancer Research and Treatment

, Volume 113, Issue 1, pp 163–172 | Cite as

Effect of a low-fat, high-carbohydrate dietary intervention on change in mammographic density over menopause

  • Lisa J. Martin
  • Carolyn V. Greenberg
  • Valentina Kriukov
  • Salomon Minkin
  • David J. A. Jenkins
  • Martin Yaffe
  • Gregory Hislop
  • Norman F. Boyd


We have previously shown that a low-fat dietary intervention for 2 years in women with extensive mammographic density decreased mammographic density to a greater extent than in the control group. Post-hoc analysis indicated that this effect was strongest in women who became postmenopausal during the follow-up period. The purpose of the present study was to determine if this potentially important finding could be confirmed in a new and larger group of subjects with a longer follow-up time. Participants in a low-fat dietary intervention trial who were premenopausal at entry and became postmenopausal during follow-up were examined. Total breast, dense, and non-dense area and percent density were measured in baseline and postmenopause mammograms using a computer-assisted method. Total breast and non dense area increased more in the control group compared to the intervention group (for breast area 2.6 and 0.2 cm2, respectively; P = 0.05, and for non-dense area 10.9 and 8.1 cm2, respectively; P = 0.06). Dense area decreased to a similar degree in both groups (−8.2 and −8.0 cm2, respectively; P = 0.84). Percent density decreased to a slightly greater degree in the control compared to intervention group (−9.4 and −7.8%, respectively, = 0.11). There were no significant differences between study groups after adjustment for weight change. Menopause reduced density to a similar extent in the low-fat diet and control groups. If a low-fat diet reduces breast cancer risk, the effect is unlikely to be through changes in mammographic density at menopause.


Breast cancer Dietary fat Low-fat diet Mammographic density Menopause 



We thank the highly skilled staff of the Diet and Breast Cancer Prevention Study for their effort in carrying out the intervention study and collecting the data. We are also indebted to the dedicated study participants. Supported by grants from the Ontario Ministry of Health, the Canadian Breast Cancer Research Alliance and the American Institute for Cancer Research, and by a Postdoctoral Fellowship from the Canadian Institutes for Health Research (LJM).


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Copyright information

© Springer Science+Business Media, LLC. 2008

Authors and Affiliations

  • Lisa J. Martin
    • 1
  • Carolyn V. Greenberg
    • 2
  • Valentina Kriukov
    • 2
  • Salomon Minkin
    • 2
  • David J. A. Jenkins
    • 3
  • Martin Yaffe
    • 4
  • Gregory Hislop
    • 5
  • Norman F. Boyd
    • 2
  1. 1.Campbell Family Institute for Breast Cancer ResearchOntario Cancer InstituteTorontoCanada
  2. 2.Campbell Family Institute for Breast Cancer ResearchOntario Cancer InstituteTorontoCanada
  3. 3.Department of Nutritional SciencesUniversity of TorontoTorontoCanada
  4. 4.Department of Imaging ResearchSunnybrook Health Sciences CentreTorontoCanada
  5. 5.British Columbia Cancer AgencyVancouverCanada

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