SABCS: Starch Intake Tied to Breast Cancer Recurrence

A 5-g/day increase in starch intake ups recurrence risk by 3 percent in women with low-grade tumors

FRIDAY, Dec. 9 (HealthDay News) -- Higher carbohydrate intake, particularly starch, is linked to increased breast cancer recurrence risk, according to a study presented at the annual San Antonio Breast Cancer Symposium, held from Dec. 6 to 10.

Jennifer A. Emond, from the University of California San Diego, and colleagues investigated the effect of carbohydrate intake on breast cancer recurrence in 2,651 women diagnosed with breast cancer within the previous four years. Carbohydrate intake data were compared based on recurrence status, after being extracted from multiple 24-hour dietary recalls at study entry and one year. After multivariable adjustment, time to recurrence was modeled on year-one changes in carbohydrate intake.

The investigators found that the carbohydrate intake was 233 g/day at baseline. There was a mean increase in carbohydrate intake over the first year for participants who had cancer recurrence, versus a decrease for nonrecurrence participants (2.3 versus −2.7 g/day; P = 0.188). Forty-eight percent of the carbohydrate intake change was accounted for by change in starch intake. No difference was noted when comparing baseline starch intake with recurrence status (P = 0.219). The mean year-one change in starch intake was −4.1 and −8.7 g/day, among women who recurred and those who did not, respectively (P = 0.015); this change was independent of the study intervention (P = 0.326). On adjusted analysis, the risk of recurrence increased by 3 percent based on a 5-g/day starch increase (hazard ratio, 1.03; 95 percent confidence interval, 1.01 to 1.06), among women with low-grade tumors.

"Dietary modifications targeting starch intake warrant further investigation as a preventive measure against breast cancer recurrence," the authors write.

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