Vitamin D levels not causally linked to breast, prostate cancer

  • Jiang X & al.
  • Int J Epidemiol
  • 28 Dec 2018

  • curated by Miriam Davis, PhD
  • Univadis Clinical Summaries
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Takeaway

  • Previous observational studies have linked higher vitamin D levels to decreased breast cancer risk, yet increased prostate cancer risk.
  • This Mendelian randomization (MR) study confirms a smaller study finding no evidence of a causal relationship between genetically predicted vitamin D levels and breast or prostate cancer.

Why this matters

  • This study does not support altering vitamin D levels to reduce breast or prostate cancer risk.

Study design

  • 2-sample MR analysis, using 6 single-nucleotide polymorphisms (SNPs) strongly associated with vitamin D levels, assesses their causal association with cancer outcomes using observational data from the largest-ever genomewide association studies (GWAS) of breast cancer cases (n=122,997) and prostate cancer cases (n=79,148) vs controls (n=105,974 and 61,106, respectively).
  • Funding: NIH; World Cancer Research Fund; others.

Key results

  • No association between genetically predicted vitamin D levels and breast cancer using inverse-variance weighted method (OR per 25 nmol/L vitamin D increase/decrease, 1.02; P=.47), including estrogen receptor (ER)-positive breast cancer (OR per 25 nmol/L vitamin D increase/decrease, 1.00; P=.99) and ER-negative breast cancer (OR per 25 nmol/L vitamin D increase/decrease, 1.02; P=.75).
  • No association between genetically predicted vitamin D levels and prostate cancer (OR per 25 nmol/L vitamin D increase/decrease, 1.00; P=.99) or advanced prostate cancer (OR per 25 nmol/L vitamin D increase/decrease, 1.02; P=.72).

Limitations

  • Cannot exclude modest or nonlinear effect.

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