Low Vitamin D Levels may Predispose the Risk of Breast Cancer
To investigate, Katie O’Brien, PhD, of the National Institute of Environmental Health Sciences, and her colleagues collected blood samples from 415 women (290 Black/African American, 125 non-Black Hispanic/Latina) who later developed breast cancer, as well as from 1,447 women (1,010 Black/African American, 437 Hispanic/Latina) who did not develop breast cancer.
Over an average follow-up of 9.2 years, women with sufficient vitamin D levels had a 21% lower breast cancer rate than women with vitamin D deficiency (
The link was strongest among Hispanic/Latina women, who had a 48% lower rate if they had sufficient vitamin D levels. The link was weaker among Black/African American women, who had an 11% lower rate if they had sufficient vitamin D.
“Together with prior studies on this topic, this article suggests that vitamin D may be associated with reduced risk of breast cancer, including among women who self-identify as Black, African-American, Hispanic, or Latina,” said Dr. O’Brien. “Because women who identify as members of these groups have lower vitamin D levels, on average, than non-Hispanic white women, they could potentially receive enhanced health benefits from interventions promoting vitamin D intake. However, questions remain about whether these associations are truly causal and, if so, what levels of vitamin D are most beneficial.”