Page last updated: Wednesday, November 19, 2008
Alcohol, Fat and Increased Risk of Breast Cancer
A new Swedish study has found that postmenopausal women who consume high amounts of alcohol are at a higher risk from breast cancer.

According to the study, women who drank more than 3 units of wine per day were twice as likely to get the disease compared to women with little or no alcohol intake. Moderate drinkers, meanwhile, were found to be at a 12 percent lower risk of breast cancer. High dietary fat, long suspected to be a culprit in breast cancer, also was associated with the disease. As amounts of fat in women’s diets increased, so did their risk of breast cancer. Those who consumed the highest amounts saw their risk of getting breast cancer rise by 34 percent.

The authors observed the dietary and drinking habits of 11,726 postmenopausal women in the city of Malmö, using interviews and self-recorded diet histories. Physical examinations were performed at the beginning of the study and the women were followed for an average of 7.6 years. A total of 342 breast cancer cases were documented during the study period.

Providing some dietary advice, the authors explain that women should drink moderately, if they choose to drink, as the research debate on alcohol and breast cancer is still evolving. The same journal featured other studies looking at potential breast cancer risk factors such as a women’s height.

Source: Mattisson I et al, High fat and alcohol intakes are risk factors of postmenopausal breast cancer: A prospective study from the Malmo Diet and Cancer Cohort. Int J Cancer 2004;110/ May 17

on line issue at www.interscience.wiley.com/cgi-bin/jhome/29331

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