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The association of plasma IGF-I with dietary, lifestyle, anthropometric, and early life factors in postmenopausal women

Bradbury KE, Balkwill A, Tipper SJ, Crowe FL, Reeves GK, Green J, Beral V, Key TJ; Million Women Study Collaborators.

Growth Horm IGF Res 2015;25:90-5.

Higher circulating concentrations of insulin like growth factor (IGF-I) are associated with an increased risk of breast cancer. The objective of this study was to investigate associations between circulating IGF-I concentrations and dietary factors (intakes of protein, dairy protein, and alcohol), lifestyle factors (smoking and HT use), anthropometric indices (height and adiposity) and factors in early life (birth weight, having been breastfed, body size at age 10, and at age 20) in postmenopausal women in the UK.

An analysis of plasma IGF-I concentrations (measured by immunoassay) in 1883 postmenopausal women. Multivariate analysis was used to examine correlates of plasma IGF-I concentrations.

Women in the highest quintile of total protein and dairy protein intakes had, respectively, 7.6% and 5.5% higher plasma IGF-I concentrations than women in the lowest quintile (p trend <0.05 for both). Other factors significantly (p<0.05) associated with reduced IGF-I concentrations were: consuming 14 or more vs 3-7 alcoholic drinks per week (8.8% lower IGF-I); current vs non-current HT users (9.9% lower IGF-I); current use of oestrogen alone vs oestrogen+progestagen (16.9% lower IGF-I); obese vs overweight (6.8% lower IGF-I); and women who reported wearing larger vs smaller clothes sizes at age 20 (4.9% lower IGF-I).

This study in post-menopausal women identified several potentially modifiable determinants of circulating IGF-I concentrations. There is now strong evidence from this and other studies that IGF-I concentrations are associated with dietary protein intakes.