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Open Access Research article

Plasma 25-hydroxyvitamin D3 is associated with decreased risk of postmenopausal breast cancer in whites: a nested case–control study in the multiethnic cohort study

Yeonju Kim1, Adrian A Franke2, Yurii B Shvetsov1, Lynne R Wilkens1, Robert V Cooney3, Galina Lurie1, Gertraud Maskarinec1, Brenda Y Hernandez1, Loïc Le Marchand1, Brian E Henderson4, Laurence N Kolonel1 and Marc T Goodman156*

Author Affiliations

1 Cancer Epidemiology Program, University of Hawaii Cancer Center, 701 Ilalo Street, Honolulu, HI 96813, USA

2 Cancer Biology Program, University of Hawaii Cancer Center, 1236 Lauhala Street, Honolulu, HI 96813, USA

3 Department of Public Health Sciences & Epidemiology, University of Hawaii, 1960 East West Road, Biomed D104K, Honolulu, HI 96822, USA

4 Department of Preventive Medicine, Keck School of Medicine, University of Southern California, 1450 Biggy Street, NRT 1517 J, Los Angeles, CA 90033, USA

5 Cancer Prevention and Control, Samuel Oschin Comprehensive Cancer Institute, Cedars-Sinai Medical Center, Los Angeles, CA 90048, USA

6 Community and Population Health Research Institute, Department of Biomedical Sciences, Cedars-Sinai Medical Center, 8700 Beverly Blvd, Room 1S37, Los Angeles, CA 90048, USA

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BMC Cancer 2014, 14:29  doi:10.1186/1471-2407-14-29

Published: 17 January 2014

Abstract

Background

Higher sunlight exposure is correlated with lower incidence of breast cancer in ecological studies, but findings from prospective studies regarding the association of circulating levels of vitamin D with the risk of breast cancer have been null. The objective of this study was to examine the relation between plasma levels of vitamin D and the risk of postmenopausal breast cancer.

Methods

We conducted a nested case–control study within the Multiethnic Cohort Study of five race/ethnic groups (white, African-American, Native Hawaiian, Japanese, and Latino) from Hawaii and Los Angeles between 2001 and 2006. Pre-diagnostic plasma levels of 25-hydroxyvitamin D2 [25(OH)D2], 25-hydroxyvitamin D3 [25(OH)D3] and 25(OH)D (sum of 25(OH)D2 and 25(OH)D3) were examined among 707 postmenopausal breast cancer cases and matched controls.

Results

Using conditional logistic regression models, 20 ng/mL increases of plasma 25(OH)D3 (odds ratio (OR) 0.28; 95% confidence interval (CI) 0.14-0.56) and 25(OH)D (OR 0.43; 95% CI 0.23-0.80) were inversely associated with breast cancer risk among white women, but not among women in other race/ethnic groups. Using two-segmented, piecewise-linear logistic regression models, the change-points of the ORs, either for 25(OH)D3 or for 25(OH)D, were detected as 20 ng/mL among whites.

Conclusions

Circulating 25(OH)D3 and 25(OH)D were associated with a reduced risk of postmenopausal breast cancer among whites, but not in other ethnic groups, who reside in low latitude regions.

Keywords:
Breast cancer; 25-Hydroxyvitamin D3; 25-Hydroxyvitamin D2; Ethnic groups; Nested case–control study