Applying food frequency questionnaire to evaluate the dietary pattern and life style on women with breast cancer


  • Huda H. Alabbody The Iraqi National Cancer Research Center, University of Baghdad
  • Ban S. Al- Nasiry College of Veterinary Medicine, Zoonotic Diseases, University of Baghdad 
  • Khalida H. Kadhim Intensive care unit, Imamein Kadhimein Medical City



Breast cancer, Dairy products, Dietary patterns, lifestyle, Food frequency questionnaire (FFQ)



Background: Breast cancer is the most common cancer among women and ranked number two after
lung cancer in the world. According to the World Health Organization, breast cancer accounts for
22.9% among cancers in women in 2012.
Objective: This study was designed to evaluate the dietary pattern particularly dairy products
consumption and the role of lifestyle on women with breast cancer in Baghdad city and its suburbs.
Subjects and Methods: The study was conducted on 100 women with breast cancer, as a case group,
compared with a control group comprised of 100 healthy women. Demographic data were collected
from both groups. A food frequency questionnaire was used of 33 items of foods for reporting the
dietary pattern and modes of life style of the participants. The statistical Chi-square test / SPSS V.22
was used to analyze the data.
Results: Our data show that 71% of the women in the two groups were found to be overweight
with body mass index (BMI 25-29.9). 90% of obese women represented in case group (BMI ≥30), while
82% of normal weight women (BMI 18.5-24.9) were in control group. Approximately 61% of women
in both groups were in post-menopausal age. Intake of high fatty dairy products by the participants
showed a statistically significant increase in breast cancer risk (OR=1.625, CIs 95%=0.686-3.847).
Consumption of vegetables and fruits was significantly lower (P˂0.01) in case group than in the control
group. Furthermore, roughly 68% women in the case group used to smoke cigarettes. In addition, lack
or decreased regular physical exercises (never with ≥1 practice per wk) was statistically significant
(OR= 44. 809; CIs= 5.889 –340.963). Other parameters, including long period of breastfeeding, early
age at first birth and consumption of white meat, beans and eggs were all reported to have significance.
On the other hand, there was no correlation with the marital status, occupation, living area, class of
dairy products, and passive smoking.
Conclusion: Unhealthy dietary habits especially high-fat dairy intake and wrong lifestyle may be risk
factors and predispose Iraqi women for breast cancer development. Therefore, eating healthy food and
following correct lifestyle are highly recommended as a suitable program for the prevention of breast


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How to Cite

Alabbody HH, Al- Nasiry BS, Kadhim KH. Applying food frequency questionnaire to evaluate the dietary pattern and life style on women with breast cancer. JFacMedBagdad [Internet]. 2018 Sep. 2 [cited 2022 May 24];60(2):119-25. Available from: