Breast cancer survivors comprise the largest group of cancer survivors in the US, with an estimated 2.8 million survivors. Breast cancer is the leading cause of cancer death among Hispanics, with greater mortality rates compared to non-Hispanic whites. Certain dietary factors have been associated with a decreased or increased risk of breast cancer recurrence; therefore, it is important to characterize the dietary patterns of the target population to develop effective dietary intervention prevention strategies.

Objective: to examine the dietary patterns in two groups of Hispanic breast cancer survivors.

Methods: Participants included Mexican American (MA) and Puerto Rican (PR) female breast cancer survivors, who participated in Project VIVA!, a randomized controlled trial to pilot test the effectiveness and feasibility of a 16-week culturally tailored exercise intervention. At the end of the trial, participants completed a culturally adapted and validated food frequency questionnaire. Daily dietary intake values were standardized for total energy (per 1,000 kcal) and compared to US Dietary Guidelines (1 cup/d fruits, 1 cup/d vegetables, ½ cup/wk beans, 2 cups/wk starchy vegetables, 2 cups/d dairy products, 50% of grains as whole grains, 12 g/d of added fat).

Results: A total of 23 MA and 22 PR completed the FFQ. Mean age was 49±10 y in MA and 59±9 y in PR (p<0.05). Most women were overweight or obese (65% in MA and 91% in PR; p>0.05). Daily intake of fruits/100% fruit juices was 2.8 cups in MA and 1.2 cups in PR daily (p>0.05), which is higher than guidelines. Vegetable intake was higher in MA (2.6 cups) compared to PR (0.8 cups; p<0.05), and only MA met the guidelines. Intake of starchy vegetables (e.g., potatoes) was higher in PR than MA (0.6 vs. 0.4 cups, respectively; p<0.001) and it was higher than guidelines. Intake of beans was similar between groups (0.46 cups in MA and 0.44 cups in PR). Intake of whole grains was higher in MA (0.54 oz) than in PR (0.23 oz) and dairy products intake was higher in PR (1.2 cups) than in MA (0.7 cups; p<0.001), but both were below the guidelines. Estimated contribution of calories from solid fats and added sugars (SoFAs) was 30% in PR and 32% in MA, which is higher than guidelines (14%). Added sugar was higher in PR (9.2 tsp) compared to MA (5.2 tsp; p<0.01).

Conclusion: PR met the recommendations for fruits, starchy vegetables, and beans while MA met the recommendations for fruits, vegetables, starchy vegetables and beans. Both groups had intakes below the recommendations for whole grains and dairy products but above for SoFAS. MA and PR female breast cancer survivors have different dietary patterns, but could benefit from similar targeted interventions to reduce consumption of SoFAS, and to increase the proportion of whole grains consumed. Larger studies are needed to confirm these results but these preliminary results could help design interventions specifically targeted to each group to improve diet quality, which could potentially prevent cancer recurrence in this group.

This project was partially supported by the following NIH awards U54 CA 96297; P30 CA016672; NCR (2G12-RR003051), NIMHHD (8G12-MD007600), and the Center for Energy Balance in Cancer Prevention and Survivorship, Duncan Family Institute.

Citation Format: Cristina Palacios, Carrie R. Daniel, Maribel Tirado-Gómez, Velda Gonzalez-Mercado, Liliana Liliana, Jose Lozada, Daniel C. Hughes, Sara Strom, Karen Basen-Engquist. Dietary patterns in Puerto Rican and Mexican-American breast cancer survivors: A pilot study. [abstract]. In: Proceedings of the Seventh AACR Conference on The Science of Health Disparities in Racial/Ethnic Minorities and the Medically Underserved; Nov 9-12, 2014; San Antonio, TX. Philadelphia (PA): AACR; Cancer Epidemiol Biomarkers Prev 2015;24(10 Suppl):Abstract nr B14.