Purpose: Alcohol consumption is an established and important risk factor for breast cancer incidence in the general population. However, the relationship between alcohol and mortality among women with breast cancer is less clear. This study examines the effect of alcohol consumption on mortality in women affected with breast cancer at baseline from a high-risk family breast and ovarian cancer registry.
Methods: We studied 1116 women affected with breast cancer at baseline from the Metropolitan New York Registry. The examined reported alcohol consumption (total of beer, wine, liquor) was defined as the average number of drinks per week reported from age 12 to age at baseline. We assessed vital status of each participant using participant or family reported data and we used the National Death Index to supplement deaths reported through family updates. We used Cox proportional hazards models to estimate the association between alcohol intake and overall mortality (HRO), breast cancer-specific mortality (HRBC), and non-breast cancer mortality (HRNBC), adjusted for confounders.
Results: After a mean follow-up of 9.1 years, we observed 211 total deaths and 58 breast cancer deaths. Compared to non-drinkers, we found that both low and moderate to heavy levels of alcohol intake were not associated with greater overall mortality (≤3 drinks/week: HRO: 0.66, 95% CI: 0.38-1.14); > 3 drinks/week: HRO: 1.16, 95% CI: 0.85-1.58), breast cancer-specific mortality (≤ 3 drinks/week: HRBC:0.62, 95% CI: 0.19-2.03; >3 drinks/week: HR BC: 0.96, 95% CI: 0.49-1.89), or non-breast cancer-specific mortality (≤3 drinks/week: HR NBC: 0.73, 95% CI: 0.32-1.6; >3 drinks/week: HRNBC: 1.18, 95% CI: 0.75-1.86).
Conclusions: Alcohol intake reported from age 12 to age at baseline was not associated with overall or breast cancer-specific mortality in this cohort of affected women with a family history of breast cancer.