Changes in lifestyle reduce breast cancer risk, model shows

BMJ 2011; 342 doi: (Published 27 June 2011) Cite this as: BMJ 2011;342:d4041
  1. Susan Mayor
  1. 1London

Changes in alcohol consumption, physical activity, and body mass index (BMI) reduce the absolute risk of breast cancer by a small but significant amount, a new modelling study has shown.

To estimate the risk of breast cancer the researchers used data from a case-control study of women in Italy (2569 cases and 2588 controls) conducted from 1991 to 1994, together with incidence and mortality data from registries.

They then used these figures to develop a model to predict the absolute risk of breast cancer on the basis of three modifiable risk factors: alcohol consumption, leisure time physical activity, and body mass index. They also included five non-modifiable risk factors: reproductive characteristics, education, occupation, family history, and biopsy history.

Their results showed that the lowest risk lifestyle profile—never drinking alcohol, exercising for at least two hours a week, and maintaining a BMI of <25 after the age …

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