Alcohol and risk of breast cancer by histologic type and hormone receptor status in postmenopausal women

Yikyung Park, Jasmine Q. Lew, Neal D. Freedman, Michael F. Leitzmann, Louise A. Brinton, Robert N. Hoover, Albert R. Hollenbeck, Arthur Schatzkin

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

90 Scopus citations


Little is known about the association between alcohol and breast cancer by different tumor characteristics. The study consisted of 184,418 postmenopausal women aged 50-71 years in the National Institutes of Health-AARP Diet and Health Study (1995-2003). Alcohol use, diet, and potential risk factors for cancer were assessed with a mailed questionnaire at baseline. The relative risks and 95% confidence intervals were estimated by using Cox proportional hazards regression. Breast cancer cases and estrogen receptor and progesterone receptor status were identified through linkage to state cancer registries. During an average of 7 years of follow-up, 5,461 breast cancer cases were identified. Alcohol was significantly positively associated with total breast cancer: Even a moderate amount of alcohol (>10 g/day) significantly increased breast cancer risk. In a comparison of >35 g versus 0 g/day, the multivariate relative risks were 1.35 (95% confidence interval (CI): 1.17, 1.56) for total breast cancer, 1.46 (95% CI: 1.22, 1.75) for ductal tumors, and 1.52 (95% CI: 0.95, 2.44) for lobular tumors. The multivariate relative risks for estrogen receptor-positive/progesterone receptor-positive, estrogen receptor-positive/ progesterone receptor-negative, and estrogen receptor-negative/progesterone receptor-negative tumors were 1.46 (95% CI: 1.12, 1.91) for >35 g versus 0 g/day, 1.13 (95% CI: 0.73, 1.77) for >20 g versus 0 g/day, and 1.21 (95% CI: 0.79, 1.84) for >20 g versus 0 g/day, respectively. Moderate consumption of alcohol was associated with breast cancer, specifically hormone receptor-positive tumors. American Journal of Epidemiology Published by the Johns Hopkins Bloomberg School of Public Health 2009.2009

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)308-317
Number of pages10
JournalAmerican journal of epidemiology
Issue number3
StatePublished - Aug 2009


  • Alcohol drinking
  • Breast
  • Breast neoplasms
  • Carcinoma
  • Ductal
  • Estrogen
  • Progesterone
  • Receptors
  • lobular


Dive into the research topics of 'Alcohol and risk of breast cancer by histologic type and hormone receptor status in postmenopausal women'. Together they form a unique fingerprint.

Cite this