Cancer Causes & Control

, Volume 10, Issue 5, pp 369–377 | Cite as

Alcohol dehydrogenase 3 genotype modification of the associationof alcohol consumption with breast cancer risk

  • Jo L. Freudenheim
  • Christine B. Ambrosone
  • Kirsten B. Moysich
  • John E. Vena
  • Saxon Graham
  • James R. Marshall
  • Paola Muti
  • Rosemary Laughlin
  • Takuma Nemoto
  • Lea C. Harty
  • G. Adam Crits
  • Arthur W.K. Chan
  • Peter G. Shields


Objectives: Because alcohol dehydrogenase 3 (ADH3) is rate-limiting in alcohol oxidation and is polymorphic, we examined ADH3 genotype in relation to alcohol intake and breast cancer risk.

Methods: We conducted a case–control study among Caucasian women aged 40–85 with incident, pathologically confirmed breast cancer and controls, frequency-matched on age and county. Queries included alcohol intake in the past 20 years. Genomic DNA was genotyped for the exon VIII ADH polymorphism by PCR followed by restriction enzyme digestion. Computation of odds ratios (OR) and 95% confidence intervals (CI) was by unconditional logistic regression.

Results: We found increased risk among pre- (OR 2.3, 95%, CI 1.2–4.3) but not postmenopausal women (OR 1.1, 95% CI 0.7–1.7) associated with ADH31-1 compared to ADH31-2 and ADH32-2 genotypes. Risk was increased for premenopausal women with the ADH31-1 genotype and alcohol intake above the median (OR 3.6, 95% CI 1.5–8.8) compared to lighter drinkers with the ADH32-2 or ADH31-2 genotypes. ORs were close to null for premenopausal women in other drinking and genotype groups and for postmenopausal women categorized by genotype and alcohol consumption.

Conclusion: Among premenopausal women there may be a group more genetically susceptible to an alcohol consumption effect on breast cancer risk.

alcohol alcohol dehydrogenase breast neoplasms epidemiology genetic polymorphisms 


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Copyright information

© Kluwer Academic Publishers 1999

Authors and Affiliations

  • Jo L. Freudenheim
    • 1
  • Christine B. Ambrosone
    • 2
  • Kirsten B. Moysich
    • 3
  • John E. Vena
    • 1
  • Saxon Graham
    • 1
  • James R. Marshall
    • 4
  • Paola Muti
    • 1
  • Rosemary Laughlin
    • 1
  • Takuma Nemoto
    • 5
  • Lea C. Harty
    • 6
  • G. Adam Crits
    • 7
  • Arthur W.K. Chan
    • 8
  • Peter G. Shields
    • 7
  1. 1.Department of Social and Preventive MedicineBuffaloUSA
  2. 2.Division of Molecular EpidemiologyNational Center for Toxicological ResearchJeffersonUSA
  3. 3.Roswell Park Cancer Institute, Cancer Epidemiology and PreventionBuffaloUSA
  4. 4.Arizona Cancer CenterTucsonUSA
  5. 5.Department of SurgeryState University of New YorkBuffaloUSA
  6. 6.Division of Cancer Epidemiology and GeneticsUSA
  7. 7.Laboratory of Human CarcinogenesisNational Cancer InstituteBethesdaUSA
  8. 8.Research Institute on AddictionsBuffaloUSA

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