Is alcohol intake associated with breast cancer in Hispanic women? The New Mexico Women's Health Study

Ethn Dis. 2002 Fall;12(4):460-9.


Objective: Previous studies have shown an increased breast cancer risk associated with modest or high alcohol intake, however, few of these studies have included Hispanic women. The alcohol/breast cancer association was investigated in a New Mexico (NM) statewide bi-ethnic study.

Design: A population-based, case-control study.

Methods: Incident breast cancer cases (N = 712), aged 30-74 years, were ascertained by the New Mexico Tumor Registry (NMTR). Controls (N = 844) were identified by random digit dialing and were frequency-matched for ethnicity, age-group, and health planning district. Data were collected via in-person interview, which included questions regarding recent and past alcohol intake and breast cancer risk factors.

Results: The highest level of recent alcohol intake, compared to no intake, was associated with breast cancer risk for postmenopausal Hispanic women (odds ratio [OR] = 2.0 95%, confidence interval [CI] 0.8-5.1, 42+ grams/ week) and postmenopausal non-Hispanic White women (OR = 2.2, 95% Cl 1.0-5.0, 148+ grams/week), although estimates were unstable and statistically non-significant. Lower recent alcohol intake (< 148 grams/week) was associated with reduced risk for non-Hispanic Whites (OR = 0.49, 95% Cl 0.35-0.69). This pattern was independent of hormone-receptor status and was present for both premenopausal (OR = 0.29, 95% Cl 0.15-0.56) and postmenopausal women (OR = 0.56, 95% Cl 0.35-0.90). Results for past alcohol intake and breast cancer association did not demonstrate any trends and were non-significant.

Conclusions: Alcohol intake does not appear to have a consistent or significant association with breast cancer in Hispanic women.

Publication types

  • Comparative Study
  • Research Support, U.S. Gov't, Non-P.H.S.
  • Research Support, U.S. Gov't, P.H.S.

MeSH terms

  • Adult
  • Aged
  • Alcohol Drinking / adverse effects
  • Alcohol Drinking / ethnology*
  • Breast Neoplasms / complications
  • Breast Neoplasms / ethnology*
  • Breast Neoplasms / metabolism
  • Case-Control Studies
  • Female
  • Hispanic or Latino*
  • Humans
  • Middle Aged
  • New Mexico / epidemiology
  • Receptors, Estrogen / metabolism
  • Receptors, Progesterone / metabolism
  • Risk Factors


  • Receptors, Estrogen
  • Receptors, Progesterone