Home > Factors associated with public awareness of the relationship between alcohol use and breast cancer risk.

Doyle, Anne ORCID: https://orcid.org/0000-0002-2776-3476, O'Dwyer, Claire ORCID: https://orcid.org/0000-0002-7978-9731, Mongan, Deirdre ORCID: https://orcid.org/0000-0003-3616-4253, Millar, Sean ORCID: https://orcid.org/0000-0003-4453-8446 and Galvin, Brian ORCID: https://orcid.org/0000-0002-5639-1819 (2023) Factors associated with public awareness of the relationship between alcohol use and breast cancer risk. BMC Public Health, 23, 577. https://doi.org/10.1186/s12889-023-15455-8.

External website: https://bmcpublichealth.biomedcentral.com/articles...

Background: Public awareness of the carcinogenic effects of alcohol is low, particularly the association between alcohol use the risk of developing breast cancer. Breast cancer is the third most common cancer in Ireland and alcohol use remains high. This study examined factors related to awareness of the association between alcohol use and breast cancer risk.

Methods: Using data from Wave 2 of the national Healthy Ireland Survey, a representative sample of 7,498 Irish adults aged 15 + years, descriptive and logistic regression analyses were conducted to investigate relationships between demographic characteristics, type of drinker and awareness of breast cancer risk.

Results: A low level of awareness of the risk of alcohol use (drinking more than the recommended low–risk limit) associated with breast cancer was found, with just 21% of respondents correctly identifying the relationship. Multivariable regression analyses found that factors most strongly associated with awareness were sex (female), middle age (45—54 years) and higher educational levels.

Conclusion: As breast cancer is a prevalent disease among women in Ireland, it is essential that the public, in particular women who drink, are made aware of this association. Public health messages that highlight the health risks associated with alcohol use, and which target individuals with lower educational levels, are warranted.

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