may 2011

Smoking and alcohol consumption in relation to risk of triple-negative breast cancer in a cohort of postmenopausal women

PURPOSE: Little is known about the risk factors for triple-negative breast cancer (TNBC), which has a worse prognosis compared to hormone receptor-positive breast cancer. We examined the association of smoking and alcohol intake with TNBC and estrogen receptor-positive (ER+) breast cancer. METHODS: Among 148,030 women enrolled in the Women's Health Initiative, 300 TNBC cases and 2,479 ER+ cases were identified over a median of 8.0 years of follow-up. Cox proportional hazards models were used to estimate hazard ratios (HR) and 95% confidence intervals (95% CI). RESULTS: Cigarette smoking was not associated with TNBC, whereas drinkers had reduced risk compared to never drinkers. In contrast, both exposures showed slight positive associations with ER+ breast cancer: for women with >/=40 pack-years of smoking, the HR was 1.24, 95% CI 1.06-1.44; for women consuming >/=7 servings of alcohol per week, the HR was 1.26, 95% CI 1.06-1.50. Intakes of wine and hard liquor were also significantly positively associated with ER+ breast cancer. CONCLUSIONS: These findings from a large cohort of postmenopausal women suggest that smoking and alcohol consumption are not associated with increased risk of TNBC, but may be modestly associated with increased risk of ER+ breast cancer.

Additional Info

  • Authors

    Kabat G.C.; Kim M.; Phipps A.I.; Li C.I.; Messina C.R.; Wactawski-Wende J.; Kuller L.; Simon M.S.; Yasmeen S.; Wassertheil-Smoller S.; Rohan T.E.
  • Issue

    Cancer Causes Control / pages 775-783 / volume 22
  • Published Date

    may 2011