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Cancer Causes Control. 2001 Dec;12(10):895-902.

Alcohol consumption increases the risk of fatal breast cancer (United States).

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American Cancer Society, National Home Office, Department of Epidemiology and Surveillance Research, Atlanta, GA 30329-4251, USA.



To investigate the hypothesis that alcohol consumption increases the risk of breast cancer mortality.


We examined breast cancer mortality in relation to self-reported alcohol consumption in women from the American Cancer Society Cancer Prevention Study (CPS)-II. After 14 years of follow-up, 1,442 eligible breast cancer deaths were observed among 242,010 women. Cox proportional hazards models were constructed for total alcohol consumption and for beer, wine, and liquor separately.


Total alcohol consumption was associated with increased risk of fatal breast cancer among post- but not pre- or perimenopausal women. Even less than one drink/day was associated with up to a 30% increase in breast cancer mortality among postmenopausal women compared to non-drinkers (RR = 1.3, 95% CI: 1.1-1.6 for women drinking 0.26-<1 drink/day). When examined separately, consumption of beer, wine, and liquor each increased the risk of breast cancer among postmenopausal women. We found no evidence that alcohol consumption was more deleterious among women at high risk for breast cancer compared to average-risk women.


This study adds to the evidence that postmenopausal women can reduce their risk of breast cancer by avoiding or minimizing their use of alcohol.

[Indexed for MEDLINE]

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