Association of Daily Alcohol Intake, Volumetric Breast Density, and Breast Cancer Risk

Alison S. Rustagi, Christopher G. Scott, Stacey J. Winham, Kathleen R. Brandt, Matthew R. Jensen, John A. Shepherd, Carrie Hruska, John J. Heine, Vernon S. Pankratz, Karla Kerlikowske, Celine M. Vachon

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review


High alcohol intake and breast density increase breast cancer (BC) risk, but their interrelationship is unknown. We examined whether volumetric density modifies and/or mediates the alcohol-BC association. BC cases (n 2233) diagnosed from 2006 to 2013 in the San Francisco Bay area had screening mammograms 6 or more months before diagnosis; controls (n 4562) were matched on age, mammogram date, race or ethnicity, facility, and mammography machine. Logistic regression was used to estimate alcohol-BC associations adjusted for age, body mass index, and menopause; interaction terms assessed modification. Percent mediation was quantified as the ratio of log (odds ratios [ORs]) from models with and without density measures. Alcohol consumption was associated with increased BC risk (2-sided Ptrend .004), as were volumetric percent density (OR 1.45 per SD, 95% confidence interval [CI] 1.36 to 1.56) and dense volume (OR 1.30, 95% CI 1.24 to 1.37). Breast density did not modify the alcohol-BC association (2-sided P<.10 for all). Dense volume mediated 25.0% (95% CI 5.5% to 44.4%) of the alcohol-BC association (2-sided P .01), suggesting alcohol may partially increase BC risk by increasing fibroglandular tissue.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Article numberpkaa124
JournalJNCI Cancer Spectrum
Issue number2
StatePublished - Apr 1 2021

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Oncology
  • Cancer Research


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