Inflammatory, insulin and oestrogenic pathways have been linked to breast cancer (BC). We aimed to examine the relationship between pre-diagnostic dietary patterns related to these mechanisms and BC survival.
The diabetes risk reduction diet (DRRD), inflammatory score of diet (ISD) and oestrogen-related dietary pattern (ERDP) were calculated using dietary data from the European Prospective Investigation into Cancer and Nutrition (EPIC) study. Cox proportional hazards models were used to assess associations between dietary patterns and overall mortality and competing risk models for associations with BC-specific mortality.
We included 13,270 BC cases with a mean follow-up after diagnosis of 8.6 years, representing 2340 total deaths, including 1475 BC deaths. Higher adherence to the DRRD score was associated with lower overall mortality (HR1–SD 0.92; 95%CI 0.87–0.96). Greater adherence to pro-inflammatory diets was borderline associated with 6% higher mortality HR1–SD 1.06; 95%CI 1.00–1.12. No significant association with the oestrogen-related dietary pattern was observed. None of the dietary patterns were associated with BC-specific mortality.
Greater adherence to an anti-diabetic and anti-inflammatory diet prior to diagnosis is associated with lower overall mortality among BC survivors. Long-term adherence to these dietary patterns could be a means to improve the prognosis of BC survivors.