Intakes of alcohol and folate during adolescence and risk of proliferative benign breast disease

Ying Liu, Rulla M. Tamimi, Catherine S. Berkey, Walter C. Willett, Laura C. Collins, Stuart J. Schnitt, James L. Connolly, Graham A. Colditz

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

28 Scopus citations


OBJECTIVES: To examine the combined effect of alcohol and folate intake during adolescence on the risk of proliferative benign breast disease (BBD). METHODS: We used data from 29 117 women in the Nurses' Health Study II who completed both adolescent alcohol consumption questions in 1989 and an adolescent diet questionnaire in 1998. A total of 659 women with proliferative BBD diagnosed between 1991 and 2001 were confirmed by central pathology review. Cox proportional hazards models were used to estimate hazard ratios and 95% confidence intervals (CIs), adjusted for established risk factors of breast cancer. RESULTS: Adolescent alcohol consumption was dose-dependently associated with an increased risk of proliferative BBD (hazard ratio = 1.15 per 10 g/day consumption; 95% CI, 1.03-1.28). There was no significant association between adolescent folate intake and the risk of proliferative BBD. Stratified analyses showed that each 10-g/day alcohol intake during adolescence was associated with a 21% (95% CI, 1.01-1.45) increase in the risk of proliferative BBD among women with low folate intake during adolescence, which was not significantly different from the alcohol-associated risk among women with moderate and high folate intake during adolescence (P for interaction = 0.18). CONCLUSIONS: Adolescent alcohol consumption is associated with increased risk of proliferative BBD, which may not be reduced by increased folate intake during adolescence.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)e1192-e1198
Issue number5
StatePublished - May 2012


  • Adolescence
  • Alcohol
  • Benign breast disease
  • Folate
  • Premalignant breast lesions


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