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author:("Kaur, baleen")
1.  Total Energy Intake and Breast Cancer Risk in Sisters: the Breast Cancer Family Registry 
Energy restriction inhibits mammary tumor development in animal models. Epidemiologic studies in humans generally do not support an association between dietary energy intake and breast cancer risk, although some studies suggest a more complex interplay between measures of energy intake, physical activity and body size. We examined the association between total energy intake jointly with physical activity and body mass index (BMI) and the risk of breast cancer among 1,775 women diagnosed with breast cancer between 1995 and 2006 and 2,529 of their unaffected sisters enrolled in the Breast Cancer Family Registry (BCFR). We collected dietary data using the Hawaii-Los Angeles Multiethnic Cohort food frequency questionnaire. Using conditional logistic regression to estimate the odds ratios (OR) and 95% confidence intervals (CI) associated with total energy intake, we observed an overall 60% -70% increased risk of breast cancer among women in the highest quartile of total energy intake compared to those in the lowest quartile (Q4 vs. Q1: OR =1.6, 95% CI: 1.3-2.0; P trend < 0.0001); these associations were limited to pre-menopausal women or women with hormone receptor positive cancers. Although the associations were slightly stronger among women with a higher BMI or lower level of average lifetime physical activity, we observed a positive association between total energy intake and breast cancer risk across different strata of physical activity and, BMI. Our results suggest that within sisters, high energy intake may increase the risk of breast cancer risk independent from physical activity and body size. If replicated in prospective studies, these findings suggest that reductions in total energy intake may help modify breast cancer risk.
doi:10.1007/s10549-012-2342-8
PMCID: PMC4032289  PMID: 23225141
Breast cancer; energy balance; energy intake; physical activity; body mass index
2.  Significant differences in global genomic DNA methylation by gender and race/ethnicity in peripheral blood 
Epigenetics  2011;6(5):623-629.
Reduced levels of global DNA methylation are associated with genomic instability and are independent predictors of cancer risk. Little is known about the environmental determinants of global DNA methylation in peripheral blood. We examined the association between demographic and lifestyle factors and levels of global leukocyte DNA methylation in 161 cancer-free subjects enrolled in the North Texas Healthy Heart Study aged 45–75 years in 2008. We used in-person interviews for demographics and lifestyle factors, a self-administrated Block food frequency questionnaire for diet, and bioelectrical impedance analysis and CT-scan for body composition. We measured genomic DNA methylation using bisulfite conversion of DNA and pyrosequencing for LINE-1. Body composition measures including body mass index, waist circumference, areas of subcutaneous fat and visceral fat, percent of fat mass and fat-free mass were not associated with global genomic DNA methylation after controlling the effect of age, gender and race/ethnicity. Instead, female gender was significantly associated with a reduced level of global methylation (β = −2.77, 95% CI: −4.33, −1.22). Compared to non-Hispanic whites, non-Hispanic blacks (β = −2.02, 95% CI: −3.55, −0.50) had significantly lower levels of global methylation. No association was found with age, cigarette smoking, alcohol drinking and dietary intake of nutrients in one-carbon metabolism. Global leukocyte DNA methylation differs by gender and race/ethnicity, suggesting these variables need to be taken into consideration in studies of global DNA methylation as an epigenetic marker for cancer.
doi:10.4161/epi.6.5.15335
PMCID: PMC3230547  PMID: 21739720
gender; race/ethnicity; DNA methylation

Results 1-2 (2)