Division of Clinical Pharmacology, Department of Laboratory Medicine, Karolinska Institutet, Karolinska University Hospital, Huddinge, 141 86 Stockholm, Sweden.
Emerging evidence associates vitamin D deficiency and vitamin D receptor () genetic variations with risk for breast cancer. This study investigated the prevalence of vitamin D deficiency and its association with tumor characteristics and the implications of genetic variations for risk of breast cancer in Ethiopia. This unmatched case?control study involved 392 female breast cancer patients and 193 controls. The plasma 25-hydroxyvitamin D (25(OH)D?) level was quantified in chemotherapy-naïve ( = 112) and tamoxifen-treated patients ( = 89). Genotyping for the common variant alleles rs7975232 (I), rs2228570 (I), and rs731236 (I) was done. Eighty-six percent of the patients were vitamin D deficient (<50 nmol/L). Chemotherapy-naïve breast cancer patients had a higher prevalence of vitamin D deficiency (91.9% vs. 78.3%) compared to the tamoxifen-treated group ( < 0.001). The prevalence of severe vitamin D deficiency (<25 nmol/L) was significantly higher in chemotherapy-naïve (41.1%) than tamoxifen-treated (11.2%) patients. Vitamin D deficiency was not significantly associated with tumor characteristics or genotype. The rs2228570 genotype was associated with increased risk of breast cancer (OR = 1.44, 95% confidence interval = 1.01-2.06). Our result indicates that rs2228570 might be a moderate risk factor for breast cancer development in the Ethiopian population. The high prevalence of severe vitamin D deficiency in treatment-naïve breast cancer patients indicates the need for nutritional supplementation of vitamin D at the time of chemotherapy initiation.
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