31 january 2012

Alcohol intake and mortality among women with invasive breast cancer

BACKGROUND: Alcohol intake has consistently been associated with increased breast cancer incidence in epidemiological studies. However, the relation between alcohol and survival after breast cancer diagnosis is less clear.

METHODS: We investigated whether alcohol intake was associated with survival among 3146 women diagnosed with invasive breast cancer in the Swedish Mammography Cohort. Alcohol consumption was estimated using a food frequency questionnaire. Cox proportional hazard models were used to calculate hazard ratios (HRs) and 95% confidence intervals (95% CIs).

RESULTS: From 1987 to 2008 there were 385 breast cancer-specific deaths and 860 total deaths. No significant association was observed between alcohol intake and breast cancer-specific survival. Women who consumed 10 g per day (corresponding to approximately 0.75 to 1 drinks) or more of alcohol had an adjusted HR (95% CI) of breast cancer-specific death of 1.36 (0.82-2.26;p(trend)=0.47) compared with non-drinkers. A significant inverse association was observed between alcohol and non-breast cancer deaths. Those who consumed 3.4-9.9 g per day of alcohol had a 33% lower risk of death compared with non-drinkers (95% CI 0.50-0.90;p(trend)=0.04).

CONCLUSION: Our findings suggest that alcohol intake up to approximately one small drink per day does not negatively impact breast cancer-specific survival and a half drink per day is associated with a decreased risk of mortality from other causes.

Additional Info

  • Authors

    Harris H.R.; Bergkvist L.; Wolk A.
  • Issue

    Br.J.Cancer / pages 592-595 / volume 106
  • Published Date

    31 january 2012