High intake of sweetened beverages may be associated with an increased risk for breast cancer recurrence among women previously treated for early-stage disease, say researchers who presented their finings at the Frontiers in Cancer Prevention Research Conference in Houston in December.

To explore the role of sweetened food and beverage intake in breast cancer recurrence in 2832 breast cancer survivors, researchers conducted an analysis of new breast cancer events in relation to dietary intake of sweet food and sweetened beverages, and glycemic index and glycemic load. On average, participants consumed 282g/day of carbohydrates and 25.2 g/day of dietary fiber and had an estimated glycemic load of 130.

Although glycemic index and glycemic load were not significantly associated with breast cancer events, postmenopausal women who reported a higher intake of sweetened beverages demonstrated a significant increased risk for recurrent disease.

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Researchers also reported that intake of sweetened beverages was greater among minority women and was associated with higher body mass index and lower reported physical activity, suggesting that sweetened beverage intake may be a surrogate of other risk factors.