Sugar-Sweetened Soda Consumption and Total and Breast Cancer Mortality: The Western New York Exposures and Breast Cancer (WEB) Study

Background:

There is growing evidence of an association between sugar-sweetened beverages (SSB) and increased risk of mortality in various populations. However, SSB influence on mortality among patients with breast cancer is unknown.

Methods:

We assessed the relationship between sugar-sweetened soda and both all-cause and breast cancer mortality among women with incident, invasive breast cancer from the Western New York Exposures and Breast Cancer Study. Breast cancer cases were followed for a median of 18.7 years, with ascertainment of vital status via the National Death Index. Frequency of sugar-sweetened soda consumption was determined via dietary recall using a food frequency questionnaire. Cox proportional hazards, adjusting for relevant variables, were used to estimate HRs and 95% confidence intervals (CI).

Results:

Of the 927 breast cancer cases, 386 (54.7%) had died by the end of follow-up. Compared with never/rarely sugar-sweetened soda drinkers, consumption at ≥5 times per week was associated with increased risk of both total (HR = 1.62; 95% CI, 1.16–2.26; Ptrend < 0.01) and breast cancer mortality (HR = 1.85; 95% CI, 1.16–2.94; Ptrend < 0.01). Risk of mortality was similarly increased among ER-positive, but not ER-negative patients; among women with body mass index above the median, but not below the median; and among premenopausal, but not postmenopausal women for total mortality only.

Conclusions:

Reported higher frequency of sugar-sweetened soda intake was associated with increased risks of both total and breast cancer mortality among patients with breast cancer.

Impact:

These results support existing guidelines on reducing consumption of SSB, including for women with a diagnosis of breast cancer.