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Table 4 Prospective Studies of Folate and Breast Cancer.

From: Nutrition and cancer: A review of the evidence for an anti-cancer diet

Reference Study # Cases # Controls Outcomes Comment
[214] Nurses' Health Study 3,483   ↓folate intake + alcohol = ↑risk of breast cancer (OR = 0.55, P-trend = 0.001) Folate intake not associated with overall risk of breast cancer
[215] Canadian National Breast Screening Study 1,336 5,382 ↓folate intake + alcohol = ↑risk of breast cancer (OR = 0.34, P-trend = 0.004) Folate intake not associated with overall risk of breast cancer
[216] Prospective study in USA with postmenopausal women 1,586   Among drinkers, ↓folate intake = ↑breast cancer risk (OR = 1.59) No association in overall cohort
[125] Shanghai Breast Cancer Study, China 1,321 1,382 ↑folate intake = ↓ risk (OR = 0.71, P-trend = 0.05); ↑folate, ↑methionine, ↑B6, ↑B12 = ↓risk (OR = 0.47, P-trend = 0.01) No alcohol, no supplements, unprocessed, unfortified foods
[217] Nurses' Health Study II, study of premenopausal women 714   Vitamin A protective (OR = 0.28); Vitamins C, E, and folate not associated with risk.  
[118] Nurses' Health Study 712 712 matched ↑plasma folate = ↓risk (OR = 0.73, P-trend = 0.06). For women who drank alcohol, ↑plasma folate even more protective, OR = 0.11. ↑plasma B6 and plasma B12 were also protective
[218] Prospective study in USA with postmenopausal women 1,823, 308 with family history (FH)   FH- +Alcohol = ↑risk (OR = 1.40) FH- + Alcohol + ↑folate = normal risk; FH+ ↓folate = ↑risk for drinkers (OR = 2.21) and non-drinkers (OR = 2.39); FH+ +Alcohol + ↑folate = ↑risk (OR = 1.67); FH+ + ↑folate = normal risk Women with family history of breast cancer can reduce risk by increasing folate intake and not drinking.
  1. FH = Family History