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William J. Gradishar, MD, FACP, FASCO


Dietary Acid Load and Associated Mortality After Breast Cancer on Long Island, New York

By: Vanessa A. Carter, BS
Posted: Wednesday, March 23, 2022

Humberto Parada Jr, PhD, of the San Diego State University School of Public Health, and colleagues evaluated whether dietary acid load correlated with increased long-term mortality risk following breast cancer in women from Nassau and Suffolk Counties on Long Island, New York and whether this association is impacted by polychlorinated biphenyl levels. Published in the International Journal of Environmental Research and Public Health, these findings did not outline a strong relationship between baseline dietary acid load and all-cause mortality but did demonstrate a mortality increase with high levels of polychlorinated biphenyls.

“Women with breast cancer with diets high in animal fats may be at increased risk of mortality due to the resulting acid-base imbalance and exposure to polychlorinated biphenyls,” concluded the investigators. “Therefore, gaining better understanding of its potential role on mortality is crucial to help clinicians provide proper dietary guidelines for their patients in order to improve long-term survival of breast cancer survivors.”

This study collected the data of 519 patients diagnosed with first primary in situ or invasive breast cancer from the Long Island Breast Cancer Study Project. Participants were followed from enrollment in 1996 to 1997 until December 2014. Individuals completed a questionnaire on breast cancer risk factors and dietary intake, and they also provided nonfasting blood samples at the time of the interview.

A total of 217 deaths were reported after a median of 17 years, with 73 deaths categorized as breast cancer–specific mortality. When compared with the lowest quartile (quartile 1), potential renal acid load in quartile 4 was associated with an all-cause mortality hazard ratio of 1.31. Notably, the all-cause mortality hazard ratios (HR) for upper medians of potential renal acid load and net endogenous acid production were 1.43 and 1.40, respectively. In the lower median of polychlorinated biphenyl levels, however, the upper median of net endogenous acid production inversely correlated with breast cancer–specific mortality (HR = 0.40).

Disclosure: For full disclosures of the study authors, visit

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