Circulating vitamin D concentrations and risk of breast and prostate cancer: a Mendelian randomization study.

Journal Article (Journal Article)

BACKGROUND: Observational studies have suggested an association between circulating vitamin D concentrations [25(OH)D] and risk of breast and prostate cancer, which was not supported by a recent Mendelian randomization (MR) analysis comprising 15 748 breast and 22 898 prostate-cancer cases. Demonstrating causality has proven challenging and one common limitation of MR studies is insufficient power. METHODS: We aimed to determine whether circulating concentrations of vitamin D are causally associated with the risk of breast and prostate cancer, by using summary-level data from the largest ever genome-wide association studies conducted on vitamin D (N = 73 699), breast cancer (Ncase = 122 977) and prostate cancer (Ncase = 79 148). We constructed a stronger instrument using six common genetic variants (compared with the previous four variants) and applied several two-sample MR methods. RESULTS: We found no evidence to support a causal association between 25(OH)D and risk of breast cancer [OR per 25 nmol/L increase, 1.02 (95% confidence interval: 0.97-1.08), P = 0.47], oestrogen receptor (ER)+ [1.00 (0.94-1.07), P = 0.99] or ER- [1.02 (0.90-1.16), P = 0.75] subsets, prostate cancer [1.00 (0.93-1.07), P = 0.99] or the advanced subtype [1.02 (0.90-1.16), P = 0.72] using the inverse-variance-weighted method. Sensitivity analyses did not reveal any sign of directional pleiotropy. CONCLUSIONS: Despite its almost five-fold augmented sample size and substantially improved statistical power, our MR analysis does not support a causal effect of circulating 25(OH)D concentrations on breast- or prostate-cancer risk. However, we can still not exclude a modest or non-linear effect of vitamin D. Future studies may be designed to understand the effect of vitamin D in subpopulations with a profound deficiency.

Full Text

Duke Authors

Cited Authors

  • Jiang, X; Dimou, NL; Al-Dabhani, K; Lewis, SJ; Martin, RM; Haycock, PC; Gunter, MJ; Key, TJ; Eeles, RA; Muir, K; Neal, D; Giles, GG; Giovannucci, EL; Stampfer, M; Pierce, BL; Schildkraut, JM; Warren Andersen, S; Thompson, D; Zheng, W; Kraft, P; Tsilidis, KK; PRACTICAL, CRUK, BPC3, CAPS and PEGASUS consortia,

Published Date

  • October 1, 2019

Published In

Volume / Issue

  • 48 / 5

Start / End Page

  • 1416 - 1424

PubMed ID

  • 30597039

Pubmed Central ID

  • PMC6934026

Electronic International Standard Serial Number (EISSN)

  • 1464-3685

Digital Object Identifier (DOI)

  • 10.1093/ije/dyy284


  • eng

Conference Location

  • England