Alcohol and risk of breast cancer in Mexican women



Little is known about the relationship between alcohol intake and breast cancer risk among Mexican women. This association may be modified by folate and Vitamin B12.


A population-based case–control study conducted in Mexico recruited 1,000 incident breast cancer cases aged 35–69 and 1,074 controls matched on age, region, and health care system. In-person interviews were conducted to assess breast cancer risk factors and recent diet using a food frequency questionnaire. Conditional logistic regression models estimated adjusted odds ratios and 95% confidence intervals.


Over one-half (57%) of cases and less than one-half of controls (45%) reported any lifetime alcohol consumption. Compared with never drinkers, women reporting ever drinking (Adjusted OR = 1.25, 95% CI = 0.99–1.58) had a greater odds of breast cancer. There was evidence for interaction in the association between ever consuming any alcohol and breast cancer by folate (p for interaction = 0.04) suggesting women with lower folate intake had a higher odds of breast cancer (Adjusted OR = 1.99, 95% CI = 1.26–3.16) compared to women with higher folate intake (OR = 1.12, 95% CI = 0.69–1.83).


Our findings support evidence that any alcohol intake increases risk of breast cancer. Insufficient intake of folate may further elevate risk for developing breast cancer among women who consume alcohol.

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We would like to deeply thank CONACyT for the financial support provided for this work and all physicians responsible for the project in the different participating hospitals: Dr. Germán Castelazo (IMSS, Hospital de la Raza, Ciudad de México, DF), Dr. Sinhué Barroso Bravo (IMSS, Hospital siglo XXI, Ciudad de México, DF), Dr. Fernando Mainero Ratchelous (IMSS, Hospital de Gineco-Obstetricia No 4. “Luis Castelaco Ayala,” Ciudad de México, DF), Dr. Hernando Miranda Hernández, SS, Hospital General de México, Ciudad de México, DF), Dr. Joaquín Zarco Méndez (ISSSTE, Hospital 20 de Noviembre, Ciudad de México, DF), Dr. Edelmiro Pérez Rodríguez (Hospital Universitario, Monterrey, Nuevo León), Dr. Jesús Pablo Esparza Cano (IMSS, Hospital No. 23 de Ginecología, Monterrey, Nuevo León), Dr. Heriberto Fabela (IMSS, Hospital No. 23 de Ginecología, Monterrey, Nuevo León), Dr. José Pulido Rodríguez (SS, Hospital Metropolitano Dr “Bernardo Sepulveda,” Monterrey, Nuevo León), Dr. Manuel de Jesús García Solis (SS, Hospital Metropolitano Dr “Bernardo Sepulveda,” Monterrey, Nuevo León), Dr. Fausto Hernández Morales (ISSSTE, Hospital General, Veracruz, Veracruz), Dr. Pedro Coronel Brizio (SS, Centro Estatal de Cancerología “Dr. Miguel Dorantes Mesa,” Xalapa, Veracruz), Dr. Vicente A. Saldaña Quiroz (IMSS, Hospital Gineco-Pediatría No 71, Veracruz, Veracruz), M.C. Teresa Shamah Levy, INSP, Cuernavaca Mor.


This work was supported by Consejo Nacional de Ciencia y Tecnologia CONACyT 2002-C01-7462 and the National Institutes of Health (1U54CA13238).

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Correspondence to Jeannette M. Beasley.

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Beasley, J.M., Coronado, G.D., Livaudais, J. et al. Alcohol and risk of breast cancer in Mexican women. Cancer Causes Control 21, 863–870 (2010).

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  • Breast cancer
  • Alcohol consumption
  • Folate and vitamin B12
  • Mexican women
  • Hispanic