Alcohol consumption and breast cancer among black and white women in North Carolina (United States)

Cancer Causes Control. 2000 Apr;11(4):345-57. doi: 10.1023/a:1008973709917.


Objective: The purpose of this study was to investigate the effects of alcohol consumption on breast cancer risk in black and white women.

Methods: We used data from the Carolina Breast Cancer Study, a population-based, case-control study of black and white women in North Carolina. Interviews were conducted with 890 cases and 841 controls frequency-matched on age and race.

Results: Overall, the prevalence of moderate to high levels of alcohol consumption was low. Compared with abstainers, the multivariate odds ratio for recent intake of one or two drinks per day was 1.4 (95% CI = 0.9-2.1) and two or more drinks a day was 1.0 (95% CI = 0.6-1.6); increasing consumption was not associated with risk (p for trend = 0.6). The associations were similar, but somewhat weaker, for average lifetime consumption. Among women who consumed 91 g/week or more of alcohol, a nonsignificant increased risk of breast cancer was observed for women reporting binge drinking (OR = 1.5; 95% CI = 0.9-2.3), but not for those who consumed less than 91 g/week reporting binge drinking (OR = 1.0; 95% CI = 0.6-1.5). Odds ratios did not differ meaningfully by race, age, menopausal status, exogenous hormone use, or body mass index.

Conclusions: These data provide little evidence for an association between alcohol consumption and risk of breast cancer among either black or white women.

Publication types

  • Research Support, U.S. Gov't, P.H.S.

MeSH terms

  • Adult
  • African Americans / statistics & numerical data*
  • Aged
  • Alcohol Drinking / adverse effects
  • Alcohol Drinking / epidemiology*
  • Alcohol Drinking / ethnology
  • Breast Neoplasms / epidemiology*
  • Breast Neoplasms / ethnology
  • Breast Neoplasms / etiology
  • Case-Control Studies
  • European Continental Ancestry Group / statistics & numerical data*
  • Female
  • Humans
  • Middle Aged
  • North Carolina / epidemiology
  • Odds Ratio
  • Prevalence
  • Risk Factors
  • Women's Health