OBJECTIVES:A pooled analysis of 18 prospective cohort studies reported in 2012 for evaluating carotenoid intakes and breast cancer risk defined by estrogen receptor (ER) and progesterone receptor (PR) statuses by using the “highest versus lowest intake” method (HLM). By applying the interval collapsing method (ICM) to maximize the use of the estimated information, we reevaluated the results of the previous analysis in order to reinterpret the inferences made.METHODS:In order to estimate the summary effect size (sES) and its 95% confidence interval (CI), meta-analyses with the random-effects model were conducted for adjusted relative risks and their 95% CI from the second to the fifth interval according to five kinds of carotenoids and ER/PR status.RESULTS:The following new findings were identified: α-Carotene and β-cryptoxanthin have protective effects on overall breast cancer. All five kinds of carotenoids showed protective effects on ER− breast cancer. β-Carotene level increased the risk of ER+ or ER+/PR+ breast cancer. α-Carotene, β-carotene, lutein/zeaxanthin, and lycopene showed a protective effect on ER−/PR+ or ER−/PR− breast cancer.CONCLUSIONS:The new facts support the hypothesis that carotenoids that show anticancer effects with anti-oxygen function might reduce the risk of ER− breast cancer. Based on the new facts, the modification of the effects of α-carotene, β-carotene, and β-cryptoxanthin should be evaluated according to PR and ER statuses.
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