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Cancer Causes & Control

, Volume 17, Issue 8, pp 1033–1043 | Cite as

Relationship of alcohol intake and sex steroid concentrations in blood in pre- and post-menopausal women: the European Prospective Investigation into Cancer and Nutrition

  • S. RinaldiEmail author
  • P. H. M. Peeters
  • I. D. Bezemer
  • L. Dossus
  • C. Biessy
  • C. Sacerdote
  • F. Berrino
  • S. Panico
  • D. Palli
  • R. Tumino
  • K. T. Khaw
  • S. Bingham
  • N. E. Allen
  • T. Key
  • M. K. Jensen
  • K. Overvad
  • A. Olsen
  • A. Tjonneland
  • P. Amiano
  • E. Ardanaz
  • A. Agudo
  • C. Martinez-García
  • J. Ramón Quirós
  • M. J. Tormo
  • G. Nagel
  • J. Linseisen
  • H. Boeing
  • M. Schulz
  • D. E. Grobbee
  • H. B. Bueno-de-Mesquita
  • M. Koliva
  • G. Kyriazi
  • A. Thrichopoulou
  • M. C. Boutron-Ruault
  • F. Clavel-Chapelon
  • P. Ferrari
  • N. Slimani
  • R. Saracci
  • E. Riboli
  • R. Kaaks
Original Paper

Abstract

Objective

Women with a moderate intake of alcohol have higher concentrations of sex steroids in serum, and higher risk of developing breast cancer, compared to non-drinkers. In the present study, we investigate the relationships between alcohol consumption and serum levels of sex steroids and sex-hormone binding globulin (SHBG) in 790 pre- and 1,291 post-menopausal women, who were part of the European Prospective Investigation into Cancer and Nutrition (EPIC).

Methods

Serum levels of testosterone (T), androstenedione (Δ4), dehydroepiandrosterone sulphate (DHEAS), estrone (E1), estradiol (E2) and SHBG were measured by direct immunoassays. Free T (fT) and free E2 (fE2) were calculated according to mass action laws. Current alcohol intake exposure to alcohol was assessed from dietary questionnaires.

Results

Pre-menopausal women who consumed more than 25 g/day of alcohol had about 30% higher DHEAS, T and fT, 20% higher Δ4 and about 40% higher E1, concentrations compared to women who were non-consumers. E2, fE2 and SHBG concentrations showed no association with current alcohol intake. In post-menopausal women, DHEAS, fT, T, Δ4, and E1 concentrations were between 10% and 20% higher in women who consumed more than 25 g/day of alcohol compared to non-consumers. E2 or fE2 were not associated with alcohol intake at all. SHBG levels were about 15% lower in alcohol consumers compared to non-consumers.

Conclusion

This study supports the hypothesis of an influence of alcohol intake on sex hormone concentrations in blood.

Keywords

Sex steroids Alcohol intake Pre-menopausal Post-menopausal women 

Abbreviations

EPIC

European Prospective Investigation into Cancer and Nutrition

T

Testosterone

Δ4

Androstenedione

DHEAS

Dehydroepiandrosterone sulphate

E1

Estrone

E2

Estradiol

SHBG

Sex-hormone binding globulin

BMI

Body mass index

OR

Odds ratio

CI

Confidence interval

Notes

Acknowledgments

The Authors would like to thank Mr Achaintre, Mrs Bouzac and Mrs Robinot for their valuable and meticulous work in performing all the laboratory analyses, and Mrs Louled for her precious secretarial help.

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Copyright information

© Springer Science+Business Media B.V. 2006

Authors and Affiliations

  • S. Rinaldi
    • 1
    Email author
  • P. H. M. Peeters
    • 2
  • I. D. Bezemer
    • 1
  • L. Dossus
    • 1
  • C. Biessy
    • 1
  • C. Sacerdote
    • 3
  • F. Berrino
    • 4
  • S. Panico
    • 5
  • D. Palli
    • 6
  • R. Tumino
    • 7
  • K. T. Khaw
    • 8
  • S. Bingham
    • 9
  • N. E. Allen
    • 10
  • T. Key
    • 10
  • M. K. Jensen
    • 11
  • K. Overvad
    • 11
  • A. Olsen
    • 12
  • A. Tjonneland
    • 12
  • P. Amiano
    • 13
  • E. Ardanaz
    • 14
  • A. Agudo
    • 15
  • C. Martinez-García
    • 16
  • J. Ramón Quirós
    • 17
  • M. J. Tormo
    • 18
  • G. Nagel
    • 19
  • J. Linseisen
    • 19
  • H. Boeing
    • 20
  • M. Schulz
    • 20
  • D. E. Grobbee
    • 2
  • H. B. Bueno-de-Mesquita
    • 21
  • M. Koliva
    • 22
  • G. Kyriazi
    • 22
  • A. Thrichopoulou
    • 22
  • M. C. Boutron-Ruault
    • 23
  • F. Clavel-Chapelon
    • 23
  • P. Ferrari
    • 1
  • N. Slimani
    • 1
  • R. Saracci
    • 1
  • E. Riboli
    • 24
  • R. Kaaks
    • 1
  1. 1.International Agency for Research on CancerLyon CedexFrance
  2. 2.Julius Center for Health Sciences and Primary CareUniversity Medical Center UtrechtUtrechtThe Netherlands
  3. 3.Department of Biomedical Science and Human Oncology CPO-PiemonteTorinoItaly
  4. 4.National Cancer InstituteMilanItaly
  5. 5.Dipartimento di Medicina Clinica e SperimentaleUniversita’ Federico IINaplesItaly
  6. 6.Molecular and Nutritional Epidemiology UnitCSPO-Scientific Institute of TuscanyFlorenceItaly
  7. 7.Cancer RegistryAzienda Ospedaliera ‘‘Civile M.P.Arezzo”RagusaItaly
  8. 8.University of Cambridge School of Clinical MedicineCambridgeUK
  9. 9.MCR Dunn Human Nutrition UnitCambridgeUK
  10. 10.Cancer Research UK, Epidemiology UnitUniversity of OxfordOxfordUK
  11. 11.Department of Clinical Epidemiology, Aalborg HospitalAarhus University HospitalAarhusDenmark
  12. 12.Institute of Cancer EpidemiologyDanish Cancer SocietyCopenhagenDenmark
  13. 13.Public Health Division of GipuzkoaHealth Department of the Basque CountryDonostia-San SebastianSpain
  14. 14.Public Health Institute of NavarraPamplonaSpain
  15. 15.Unit of EpidemiologyCatalan Institute of Oncology (ICO)BarcelonaSpain
  16. 16.Andalusian School of Public HealthGranadaSpain
  17. 17.Public Health & Health Planning DirectorateAsturiasSpain
  18. 18.Conserejía de SanidaMurciaSpain
  19. 19.German Cancer Research Centre, Clinical Epidemiology, Nutritional Epidemiology HeidelbergGermany
  20. 20.Department of EpidemiologyGerman Institute of Human NutritionPotsdam-RehbrueckeGermany
  21. 21.Centre for Nutrition and HealthNational Institute of Public Health and the EnvironmentBilthovenThe Netherlands
  22. 22.Department of Hygiene and Epidemiology, School of MedicineUniversity of AthensAthensGreece
  23. 23.INSERM, Institut Gustave RoussyVillejuifFrance
  24. 24.Department of Epidemiology & Public Health, Faculty of MedicineImperial College LondonLondonUK

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