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.

“Dietary modifications targeting starch intake warrant further investigation as a preventive measure against breast cancer recurrence,” study researcher Jennifer A. Emond, MS, a public health doctoral student at the University of California in San Diego said in a press release.

Edmond 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.

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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. Mean 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). Starch intake accounted for 48% of overall carbohydrate intake change, the researchers found.

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, recurrence risk increased 3% based on a 5-g/day starch increase (HR=1.03; 95% CI: 1.01-1.06), among women with low-grade tumors.

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