Home > Trajectories of alcohol consumption during life and the risk of developing breast cancer.

Donat-Vargas, Carolina and Guerrero-Zotano, Ángel and Casas, Ana and Baena-Cañada, José Manuel and Lope, Virginia and Antolín, Silvia and Garcia-Saénz, José Ángel and Bermejo, Begoña and Muñoz, Montserrat and Ramos, Manuel and de Juan, Ana and Jara Sánchez, Carlos and Sánchez-Rovira, Pedro and Antón, Antonio and Brunet, Joan and Gavilá, Joaquín and Salvador, Javier and Arriola Arellano, Esperanza and Bezares, Susana and Fernández de Larrea-Baz, Nerea and Pérez-Gómez, Beatriz and Martín, Miguel and Pollán, Marina (2021) Trajectories of alcohol consumption during life and the risk of developing breast cancer. British Journal of Cancer, doi: 10.1038/s41416-021-01492-w.

External website: https://www.nature.com/articles/s41416-021-01492-w

BACKGROUND: Whether there are lifetime points of greater sensitivity to the deleterious effects of alcohol intake on the breasts remains inconclusive.

OBJECTIVE: To compare the influence of distinctive trajectories of alcohol consumption throughout a woman's life on development of breast cancer (BC).

METHODS: 1278 confirmed invasive BC cases and matched (by age and residence) controls from the Epi-GEICAM study (Spain) were used. The novel group-based trajectory modelling was used to identify different alcohol consumption trajectories throughout women's lifetime.

RESULTS: Four alcohol trajectories were identified. The first comprised women (45%) with low alcohol consumption (<5 g/day) throughout their life. The second included those (33%) who gradually moved from a low alcohol consumption in adolescence to a moderate in adulthood (5 to <15 g/day), never having a high consumption; and oppositely, women in the third trajectory (16%) moved from moderate consumption in adolescence, to a lower consumption in adulthood. Women in the fourth (6%) moved from a moderate alcohol consumption in adolescence to the highest consumption in adulthood (≥15 g/day), never having a low alcohol consumption. Comparing with the first trajectory, the fourth doubled BC risk (OR 2.19; 95% CI 1.27, 3.77), followed by the third (OR 1.44; 0.96, 2.16) and ultimately by the second trajectory (OR 1.17; 0.86, 1.58). The magnitude of BC risk was greater in postmenopausal women, especially in those with underweight or normal weight. When alcohol consumption was independently examined at each life stage, ≥15 g/day of alcohol consumption in adolescence was strongly associated with BC risk followed by consumption in adulthood.

CONCLUSIONS: The greater the alcohol consumption accumulated throughout life, the greater the risk of BC, especially in postmenopausal women. Alcohol consumption during adolescence may particularly influence BC risk.

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