Breast Cancer Research and Treatment

, Volume 136, Issue 1, pp 195–207

Pre-diagnostic alcohol consumption and postmenopausal breast cancer survival: a prospective patient cohort study

Authors

  • Alina Vrieling
    • Division of Cancer Epidemiology, Unit of Genetic EpidemiologyGerman Cancer Research Center (DKFZ)
  • Katharina Buck
    • Division of Cancer Epidemiology, Unit of Genetic EpidemiologyGerman Cancer Research Center (DKFZ)
  • Judith Heinz
    • Department of Cancer Epidemiology/Clinical Cancer RegistryUniversity Cancer Center Hamburg (UCCH)
  • Nadia Obi
    • Department of Cancer Epidemiology/Clinical Cancer RegistryUniversity Cancer Center Hamburg (UCCH)
  • Axel Benner
    • Division of BiostatisticsGerman Cancer Research Center (DKFZ)
  • Dieter Flesch-Janys
    • Department of Cancer Epidemiology/Clinical Cancer RegistryUniversity Cancer Center Hamburg (UCCH)
    • Department of Medical Biometrics and EpidemiologyUniversity Medical Center Hamburg-Eppendorf
    • Division of Cancer Epidemiology, Unit of Genetic EpidemiologyGerman Cancer Research Center (DKFZ)
Epidemiology

DOI: 10.1007/s10549-012-2230-2

Cite this article as:
Vrieling, A., Buck, K., Heinz, J. et al. Breast Cancer Res Treat (2012) 136: 195. doi:10.1007/s10549-012-2230-2

Abstract

Study results on the association of alcohol consumption with breast cancer survival are inconsistent, partly due to the use of different survival outcomes. We assessed the association of pre-diagnostic alcohol consumption with survival and recurrence in a prospective cohort study in Germany including 2,522 postmenopausal breast cancer patients aged 50–74 years. Patients were diagnosed between 2001 and 2005 and vital status, causes of death, and recurrences were verified through the end of 2009. Cox proportional hazards models were stratified by age at diagnosis and study center and adjusted for relevant prognostic factors. Alcohol consumption was non-linearly associated with increased breast cancer-specific mortality [e.g., ≥12 vs. <0.5 g/day: hazard ratio (HR) = 1.74, 95 % confidence interval (CI): 1.13, 2.67]. Results were independent of estrogen receptor status. A non-significantly decreased risk of mortality due to other causes was found (≥12 vs. <0.5 g/day: HR = 0.67, 95 % CI: 0.35, 1.29). Alcohol consumption was not associated with overall mortality (≥12 vs. <0.5 g/day: HR = 1.28, 95 % CI: 0.90, 1.81) and breast cancer recurrence (≥12 vs. <0.5 g/day: HR = 1.08, 95 % CI: 0.73, 1.58). In conclusion, our findings show that consumption of alcohol before diagnosis is non-linearly associated with increased breast cancer-specific mortality but may be associated with decreased risk of mortality due to other causes.

Keywords

Breast cancerAlcoholMortalityRecurrence

Copyright information

© Springer Science+Business Media, LLC. 2012