Alcohol Consumption in Relation to Breast Cancer Risk in a Cohort of United States Women 25–42 Years of Age
We evaluated current and past alcohol consumption prospectively in relation to breast cancer risk among 116,671 women ages 25-42 years old at enrollment in 1989. During 6 years of follow-up, 445 cases of invasive breast cancer were identified. For alcohol consumption in the previous year, the multivariate relative risk associated with more than 20 g/day (approximately 10 drinks/week) was 1.23 (95% confidence interval, 0.68-2.21); the P for trend was 0.85. For average lifetime alcohol consumption, the multivariate relative risk associated with consumption of 10 or more drinks/week was 1.20 (95% confidence interval, 0.69-2.11); the P for trend was 0.18. We examined drinking in several time periods of life; only drinking at ages 23-30 was significantly positively associated with risk. Although this may represent a chance finding, it merits further study. Because drinking levels in this population were low, we had limited information on heavier drinking. Our results suggest that there is unlikely to be a large effect of moderate alcohol consumption on breast cancer risk among young women, although a modest effect cannot be excluded. The association between alcohol consumption and breast cancer is unlikely to be substantially stronger among premenopausal women than among postmenopausal women.
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