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The Association Between Circulating Total Folate and Folate Vitamers With Overall Survival After Postmenopausal Breast Cancer Diagnosis

McEligot, Archana Jaiswal, Ziogas, Argyrios, Pfeiffer, Christine M., Fazili, Zia, Anton-Culver, Hoda
Nutrition and cancer 2015 v.67 no.3 pp. 442-448
alcohols, body mass index, breast neoplasms, confidence interval, diet, energy intake, hormone replacement therapy, models, postmenopause, prognosis, relative risk, tetrahydrofolic acid, women
We studied the relationship between plasma total folate and folate vitamer concentrations [5-methyltetrahydrofolic acid, pteroylglutamic acid (folic acid) and tetrahydrofolic acid] with overall survival after breast cancer diagnosis. A secondary aim was to assess the relationship between folic acid supplement use with circulating total folate and folate vitamer concentrations. Participants were postmenopausal women diagnosed with breast cancer (n = 498) with an average follow-up of 6.7 yr. Plasma total folate and folate vitamers were measured by isotope-dilution LC-MS/MS in samples collected at or postdiagnosis. Cox proportional multivariate hazards models (controlled for stage, age at diagnosis, body mass index, parity, hormone replacement therapy use, treatment, alcohol use, folic acid use, and energy intake), were used to assess overall survival after breast cancer diagnosis. We found that the relative risk of dying for women with plasma total folate concentrations in the highest quartile was 59% lower (hazard ratio: 0.41, 95% confidence interval: 0.19–0.90) compared with the lowest quartile. Data on supplement use showed that women taking folic acid supplements had significantly higher circulating total folate and folate vitamer concentrations (P < 0.0001), suggesting that increased folate consumption through diet and/or supplementation may improve prognosis after breast cancer diagnosis.