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Int J Epidemiol. 1997 Oct;26(5):915-23.

Breast cancer risk and alcohol consumption: results from a large case-control study.

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  • 1Department of Epidemiology and Biostatistics, School of Medicine, Case Western Reserve University, Cleveland, OH 44106-4945, USA.

Abstract

BACKGROUND:

Alcohol use is associated with breast cancer in many epidemiological studies. Most, however, have measured risk from recent consumption patterns, and only a few include analyses for duration of drinking or age that a woman started to drink. The authors studied the effect of these variables, as well as of recent alcohol consumption patterns, on breast cancer risk.

METHODS:

Data from a large case-control study conducted in Long Island, New York from 1 January 1984 to 31 December 1986 were used. A total of 1214 women aged 20-79 years with incident breast cancer were interviewed. A control was selected for each case from driver's license files, and matched on age and county of residence. Alcohol consumption was measured as: ever versus never, grams of alcohol per day, age started drinking, and total years drinking.

RESULTS:

After adjustment for breast cancer risk factors, the odds ratio for ever versus never drinking was 1.40 (95% confidence interval [CI] 1.09-1.79); odds ratios for > 0-5 and > or = 5 grams of alcohol use per day, as compared to nondrinkers, were 1.29 (95% CI: 1.00-1.65) and 1.46 (95% CI: 1.13-1.89), respectively. Age when drinking began was not related to breast cancer risk, but the greater the total years of drinking, up to 40 years (odds ratio 1.48, 95% CI: 1.13-1.93), the greater the risk. However, when grams per day and duration of drinking were simultaneously included in the multivariate model, duration was not important as a risk factor. This suggests that intensity of drinking may be the important factor for breast cancer risk. After covariate adjustment, risk from alcohol intake did not differ between pre- and postmenopausal women.

PMID:
9363510
[PubMed - indexed for MEDLINE]
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