Adolescent alcohol, nuts, and fiber: combined effects on benign breast disease risk in young women

Catherine S. Berkey, Rulla M. Tamimi, Walter C. Willett, Bernard Rosner, Martha Hickey, Adetunji T. Toriola, A. Lindsay Frazier, Graham A. Colditz

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

Abstract

Adolescent drinking is associated with higher risks of proliferative benign breast disease (BBD) and invasive breast cancer (BC). Furthermore, adolescent nut and fiber consumptions are associated with lower risks of benign lesions and premenopausal BC. We hypothesize that diet (nuts, fiber) may mitigate the elevated BBD risk associated with alcohol. A prospective cohort of 9031 females, 9–15 years at baseline, completed questionnaires in 1996–2001, 2003, 2005, 2007, 2010, 2013, and 2014. Participants completed food frequency questionnaires in 1996–2001. In 2005, participants (>=18 years) began reporting biopsy-confirmed BBD (N = 173 cases). Multivariable logistic regression estimated associations between BBD and cross-classified intakes (14–17 years) of alcohol and peanut butter/nuts (separately, total dietary fiber). Only 19% of participants drank in high school; drinking was associated with elevated BBD risk (OR = 1.75, 95% CI: 1.20–2.56; p = 0.004) compared to nondrinkers. Participants consuming any nuts/butter had lower BBD risk (OR = 0.64, 95% CI: 0.45–0.90; p = 0.01) compared to those consuming none. Participants in top 75% fiber intake had lower risk (OR = 0.57, 95% CI: 0.40–0.81; p = 0.002) compared to bottom quartile. Testing our hypothesis that consuming nuts/butter mitigates the elevated alcohol risk, analyzing alcohol and nuts combined found that those who consumed both had lower risk (RR = 0.47, 95% CI: 0.24–0.89; p = 0.02) compared to drinkers eating no nuts. Our analysis of alcohol and fiber together did not demonstrate risk mitigation by fiber. For high school females who drink, their BBD risk may be attenuated by consuming nuts. Due to modest numbers, future studies need to replicate our findings in adolescent/adult females. However, high school students may be encouraged to eat nuts and fiber, and to avoid alcohol, to reduce risk of BBD and for general health benefits.

Original languageEnglish
Article number61
Journalnpj Breast Cancer
Volume6
Issue number1
DOIs
StatePublished - Dec 2020

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