Alcohol intake and invasive breast cancer risk by molecular subtype and race in the Carolina Breast Cancer Study
Alcohol is an established breast cancer risk factor, but there is little evidence on whether the association differs between African Americans and whites.
Invasive breast cancers (n = 1,795; 1,014 white, 781 African American) and age- and race-matched controls (n = 1,558; 844 white, 714 African American) from the Carolina Breast Cancer Study (Phases I–II) were used to estimate odds ratios (ORs) and 95 % confidence interval (CI) for pre-diagnosis drinks per week and breast cancer risk.
African American controls reported lower alcohol intake than white controls across all age groups. Light drinking (0 to ≤2 per week) was more prevalent among African American controls. Moderate-to-heavy drinking was more prevalent in white controls. African Americans who reported drinking >7 drinks per week had an elevated risk compared to light drinkers [adjusted OR, 95% CI 1.62 (1.03–2.54)]. A weaker association was observed among whites [adjusted OR, 95% CI 1.20 (0.87–1.67)]. The association of >7 drinks per week with estrogen receptor-negative [adjusted OR, 95% CI 2.17 (1.25–3.75)] and triple-negative [adjusted OR, 95% CI 2.12 (1.12–4.04)] breast cancers was significant for African American, but not white women. We observed significantly elevated ORs for heavy intake at ages <25 and >50 years of age for African American women only. We found no evidence of statistical interaction between alcohol intake and oral contraceptive use or smoking.
Drinking more than seven alcoholic beverages per week increased invasive breast cancer risk among white and African American women, with significant increases only among African American women. Genetic or environmental factors that differ by race may mediate the alcohol–breast cancer risk association.
KeywordsBreast Cancer Alcohol drinking Race Subtype Epidemiology
This research was supported by a breast Specialized Program of Research Excellence (SPORE) Grant (P50-CA58223) and by the North Carolina State University Cancer Research Fund.
- 6.Kinney AY, Millikan RC, Lin YH, Moorman PG, Newman B (2000) Alcohol consumption and breast cancer among black and white women in North Carolina (United States). Cancer Causes Control CCC 11(4): 345–357. http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/10843445
- 9.Volcik KA, Ballantyne CM, Fuchs FD, Sharrett AR, Boerwinkle E (2008) Relationship of alcohol consumption and type of alcoholic beverage consumed with plasma lipid levels: differences between Whites and African Americans of the ARIC study. Ann Epidemiol 18(2):101–107. doi: 10.1016/j.annepidem.2007.07.103 PubMedPubMedCentralCrossRefGoogle Scholar
- 14.Watabiki T, Okii Y, Tokiyasu T et al (2004) Long-term ethanol consumption in ICR mice causes mammary tumor in females and liver fibrosis in males. Alcohol Clin Exp Res 24(4 Suppl):117S–122SGoogle Scholar
- 16.Newman B, Moorman PG, Millikan R, et al (1995) The Carolina Breast Cancer Study: integrating population-based epidemiology and molecular biology. Breast Cancer Res Treat 35(1): 51–60. http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/7612904
- 24.Dietary Guidelines for Americans (2010) Health and human services. www.dietaryguidelines.gov
- 28.Hamajima N, Hirose K, Tajima K et al (2002) Alcohol, tobacco and breast cancer–collaborative reanalysis of individual data from 53 epidemiological studies, including 58,515 women with breast cancer and 95,067 women without the disease. Br J Cancer 87(11):1234–1245. doi: 10.1038/sj.bjc.6600596 PubMedCrossRefGoogle Scholar
- 33.Dumeaux V, Lund E, Hjarta A (2004) Use of oral contraceptives, alcohol, and risk for invasive breast cancer. Cancer Epidemiol Biomark Prev 13(August):1302–1307Google Scholar
- 36.Giovannucci E, Stampfer MJ, Colditz GA, et al (1993) Recall and selection bias in reporting past alcohol consumption among breast cancer cases. Cancer Causes Control CCC 4(5): 441–448. http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/8218876