Page last updated: October 31, 2017
Alcohol consumption across the life course and mammographic density in premenopausal women

Consumption of alcoholic beverages during adolescence and early adulthood has been linked with higher breast cancer risk. The influence of alcohol consumption early in life on mammographic breast density, a marker of breast cancer risk, is inconclusive. A study examined associations of alcohol consumption across the life course with premenopausal mammographic density.

The study population included 1,211 premenopausal women in the Nurses' Health Study II without cancer, who recalled their alcohol consumption at age 15 through enrolment in 1989 (baseline), and had mammograms available. Recent alcohol consumption was updated over follow-up. Percent and absolute measures of mammographic density were quantified using mammograms and generalised linear regression was used to assess associations.

There were no notable differences in any of the three density measures for alcohol consumption at any age (15-17, 18-22, 23-30, and 31-mammogram). Neither alcohol consumption before first pregnancy nor after first pregnancy was significantly associated with any of the three density measures.

The authors conclude that moderate alcohol consumption during different age intervals during adolescence and early adulthood was not associated with mammographic density in premenopausal women.

Source: Alcohol consumption across the life course and mammographic density in premenopausal women. Liu Y, Tamimi RM, Colditz GA, Bertrand KA. Epidemiology. First Online: 26 September 2017.

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