Case-control studies suggest that higher whole grain and lower refined grain intakes are associated with reduced cancer risk, but longitudinal evidence is limited. The objective of this prospective cohort study is to evaluate associations between whole and refined grains and their food sources in relation to adiposity-related cancer risk. Participants were adults from the Framingham Offspring cohort (N = 3,184; ≥18 yr). Diet, measured using a food frequency questionnaire, medical and lifestyle data were collected at exam 5 (1991–95). Between 1991 and 2013, 565 adiposity-related cancers were ascertained using pathology reports. Cox proportional hazards models were used to estimate adjusted hazard ratios and 95% confidence intervals for associations of whole and refined grains with risk of adiposity-related cancers combined and with risk of breast and prostate cancers in exploratory site-specific analyses. Null associations between whole and refined grains and combined incidence of adiposity-related cancers were observed in multivariable-adjusted models (HR: 0.94; 95% CI: 0.71–1.23 and HR: 0.98; 95% CI: 0.70–1.38, respectively). In exploratory analyses, higher intakes of whole grains (oz eq/day) and whole grain food sources (servings/day) were associated with 39% and 47% lower breast cancer risk (HR: 0.61; 95% CI: 0.38–0.98 and HR: 0.53; 95% CI: 0.33–0.86, respectively). In conclusion, whole and refined grains were not associated with adiposity-related cancer risk. Whole grains may protect against breast cancer, but findings require confirmation within a larger sample and in other ethnic groups.
All Science Journal Classification (ASJC) codes
- Medicine (miscellaneous)
- Nutrition and Dietetics
- Cancer Research