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A low fat dietary pattern intervention did not reduce breast cancer, colorectal cancer, or CVD in postmenopausal women

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Q Does a dietary modification intervention promoting a low fat dietary pattern reduce risk of breast cancer, colorectal cancer, or cardiovascular disease (CVD) in postmenopausal women?


Embedded ImageDesign:

3 reports of different outcome measures of a randomised controlled trial (Women’s Health Initiative [WHI]).

Embedded ImageAllocation:


Embedded ImageBlinding:

blinded (physician adjudicators verifying outcomes, {data collectors, data analysts, and monitoring committee}*).

Embedded ImageFollow up period:

mean 8.1 years.

Embedded ImageSetting:

40 clinical centres in the US.

Embedded ImageParticipants:

48 835 postmenopausal women 50–79 years of age (mean age 62 y) with baseline fat intake ⩾32% of total calories. Exclusion criteria were previous cancer (except for non-melanoma skin cancer) in the past 10 years, medical conditions with predicted survival <3 years, type 1 diabetes, adherence concerns such as alcoholism or dementia, or frequent consumption of meals prepared away from home.

Embedded ImageIntervention:

low fat dietary pattern intervention (n = 19 541) or no dietary intervention (n = 29 294). The dietary modification intervention promoted dietary change with the goals of reducing …

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  • * Information provided by authors.

  • For correspondence: Dr R L Prentice, Fred Hutchinson Cancer Research Center, Seattle, WA, USA. rprentice{at} Dr S A Beresford, University of Washington, Seattle, WA, USA. beresfrd{at} Dr B V Howard, MedStar Research Institute, Hyattsville, MD, USA. Barbara.v.howard{at}

  • Source of funding: National Heart, Lung, and Blood Institute.