Cancer Causes & Control

, Volume 18, Issue 4, pp 361–373

Alcohol intake and breast cancer risk: the European Prospective Investigation into Cancer and Nutrition (EPIC)

  • Anne Tjønneland
  • Jane Christensen
  • Anja Olsen
  • Connie Stripp
  • Birthe L. Thomsen
  • Kim Overvad
  • Petra H. M. Peeters
  • Carla H. van Gils
  • H. Bas Bueno-de-Mesquita
  • Marga C. Ocké
  • Anne Thiebaut
  • Agnès Fournier
  • Françoise Clavel-Chapelon
  • Franco Berrino
  • Domenico Palli
  • Rosario Tumino
  • Salvatore Panico
  • Paolo Vineis
  • Antonio Agudo
  • Eva Ardanaz
  • Carmen Martinez-Garcia
  • Pilar Amiano
  • Carmen Navarro
  • José R. Quirós
  • Tim J. Key
  • Gillian Reeves
  • Kay-Tee Khaw
  • Sheila Bingham
  • Antonia Trichopoulou
  • Dimitrios Trichopoulos
  • Androniki Naska
  • Gabriele Nagel
  • Jenny Chang-Claude
  • Heiner Boeing
  • Petra H. Lahmann
  • Jonas Manjer
  • Elisabet Wirfält
  • Göran Hallmans
  • Ingegerd Johansson
  • Eiliv Lund
  • Guri Skeie
  • Anette Hjartåker
  • Pietro Ferrari
  • Nadia Slimani
  • Rudolf Kaaks
  • Elio Riboli
Original Paper

DOI: 10.1007/s10552-006-0112-9

Cite this article as:
Tjønneland, A., Christensen, J., Olsen, A. et al. Cancer Causes Control (2007) 18: 361. doi:10.1007/s10552-006-0112-9

Abstract

Objective

Most epidemiologic studies have suggested an increased risk of breast cancer with increasing alcohol intake. Using data from 274,688 women participating in the European Prospective Investigation into Cancer and Nutrition study (EPIC), we investigated the relation between alcohol intake and the risk of breast cancer.

Methods

Incidence rate ratios (IRRs) based on Cox proportional hazard models were calculated using reported intake of alcohol, recent (at baseline) and lifetime exposure. We adjusted for known risk factors and stratified according to study center as well as potentially modifying host factors.

Results

During 6.4 years of follow up, 4,285 invasive cases of breast cancer within the age group 35–75 years were identified. For all countries together the IRR per 10 g/day higher recent alcohol intake (continuous) was 1.03 (95% confidence interval (CI): 1.01–1.05). When adjusted, no association was seen between lifetime alcohol intake and risk of breast cancer. No difference in risk was shown between users and non-users of HRT, and there was no significant interaction between alcohol intake and BMI, HRT or dietary folate.

Conclusion

This large European study supports previous findings that recent alcohol intake increases the risk of breast cancer.

Keywords

AlcoholBreast neoplasmCohort studyHormone replacement therapy

Abbreviations

BMI

Body mass index

IRR

Incidence rate ratio

CI

Confidence interval

EPIC

European Prospective Investigation into Cancer and Nutrition

HRT

Hormone replacement therapy

Pre

Premenopausal

Peri

Perimenopausal

Post

Postmenopausal

PY

Person years

Copyright information

© Springer Science+Business Media B.V. 2007

Authors and Affiliations

  • Anne Tjønneland
    • 1
  • Jane Christensen
    • 1
  • Anja Olsen
    • 1
  • Connie Stripp
    • 1
  • Birthe L. Thomsen
    • 1
  • Kim Overvad
    • 2
  • Petra H. M. Peeters
    • 3
  • Carla H. van Gils
    • 3
  • H. Bas Bueno-de-Mesquita
    • 4
  • Marga C. Ocké
    • 4
  • Anne Thiebaut
    • 5
  • Agnès Fournier
    • 5
  • Françoise Clavel-Chapelon
    • 5
  • Franco Berrino
    • 6
  • Domenico Palli
    • 7
  • Rosario Tumino
    • 8
  • Salvatore Panico
    • 9
  • Paolo Vineis
    • 10
    • 30
  • Antonio Agudo
    • 11
  • Eva Ardanaz
    • 12
  • Carmen Martinez-Garcia
    • 13
  • Pilar Amiano
    • 14
  • Carmen Navarro
    • 15
  • José R. Quirós
    • 16
  • Tim J. Key
    • 17
  • Gillian Reeves
    • 17
  • Kay-Tee Khaw
    • 18
  • Sheila Bingham
    • 19
  • Antonia Trichopoulou
    • 20
  • Dimitrios Trichopoulos
    • 20
  • Androniki Naska
    • 20
  • Gabriele Nagel
    • 21
  • Jenny Chang-Claude
    • 21
  • Heiner Boeing
    • 22
  • Petra H. Lahmann
    • 22
  • Jonas Manjer
    • 23
  • Elisabet Wirfält
    • 24
  • Göran Hallmans
    • 25
  • Ingegerd Johansson
    • 25
  • Eiliv Lund
    • 26
  • Guri Skeie
    • 26
  • Anette Hjartåker
    • 27
  • Pietro Ferrari
    • 28
  • Nadia Slimani
    • 28
  • Rudolf Kaaks
    • 28
  • Elio Riboli
    • 29
  1. 1.Institute of Cancer Epidemiology, Danish Cancer SocietyCopenhagen ØDenmark
  2. 2.Department of Clinical EpidemiologyAalborg Hospital and Aarhus University HospitalAarhusDenmark
  3. 3.Julius Center for Health Sciences and Primary CareUniversity Medical CenterUtrechtThe Netherlands
  4. 4.National Institute for Public Health and the EnvironmentBilthovenNetherlands
  5. 5.INSERM, ERI-20, Institut Gustave RoussyVillejuifFrance
  6. 6.Epidemiology UnitNational Cancer InstituteMilanItaly
  7. 7.Molecular and Nutritional Epidemiology UnitCSPO-Scientific Institute of TuscanyFlorenceItaly
  8. 8.Cancer RegistryAzienda Ospedaliera “Civile-M.P. Arezzo”RagusaItaly
  9. 9.Department of Clinical and Experimental MedicineFederico II UniversityNaplesItaly
  10. 10.Cancer Epidemiology DepartmentUniversity of TurinTurinItaly
  11. 11.Unit of EpidemiologyCatalan Institute of OncologyBarcelonaSpain
  12. 12.Public Health Institute of NavarraPamplonaSpain
  13. 13.Andalusian School of Public HealthGranadaSpain
  14. 14.Department of Public Health of GuipuzkoaSan SebastianSpain
  15. 15.Epidemiology DepartmentRegional Health CouncilMurciaSpain
  16. 16.Health Information Unit, Public Health and Planning Directorate, Health and Health Services CouncilPrincipality of AsturiasOviedoSpain
  17. 17.Epidemiology Unit, Cancer Research UKOxford UniversityOxfordUK
  18. 18.Department of Public Health and Primary Care, School of Clinical MedicineUniversity of CambridgeCambridgeUK
  19. 19.MRC Dunn Human Nutrition UnitWelcome Trust/MRC BuildingCambridgeUK
  20. 20.Department of Hygiene and Epidemiology, School of MedicineUniversity of AthensAthensGreece
  21. 21.Division of Clinical EpidemiologyGerman Cancer Research CenterHeidelbergGermany
  22. 22.Department of EpidemiologyGerman Institute of Human Nutrition Potsdam-RehbrückeNuthetalGermany
  23. 23.Department of SurgeryMalmö University HospitalMalmoSweden
  24. 24.Department of Clinical SciencesLund UniversityMalmoSweden
  25. 25.Public Health and Clinical Medicine, Nutritional ResearchUniversity Hospital of Northern SwedenUmeaSweden
  26. 26.Institute of Community MedicineUniversity of TromsøTromsoNorway
  27. 27.Cancer Registry of NorwayInstitute of Population-based Cancer ResearchOsloNorway
  28. 28.Nutrition and Hormones GroupInternational Agency for Research on CancerLyonFrance
  29. 29.Department of Epidemiology & Public Health, Faculty of MedicineImperial CollegeLondonUK
  30. 30.Imperial CollegeLondonUK