Alcohol consumption and the risk of breast cancer among BRCA1 and BRCA2 mutation carriers

Jessica Dennis, Parviz Ghadirian, Julian Little, Jan Lubinski, Jacek Gronwald, Charmaine Kim-Sing, William Foulkes, Pal Moller, Henry T. Lynch, Susan L. Neuhausen, Susan Domchek, Susan Armel, Claudine Isaacs, Nadine Tung, Kevin Sweet, Peter Ainsworth, Ping Sun, Daniel Krewski, Steven Narod

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

20 Scopus citations


Alcohol consumption increases the risk of breast cancer among women in the general population, but its effect on women who carry a BRCA gene mutation is unclear. We conducted a case-control study of 1925 matched pairs of predominantly premenopausal women who carry a BRCA1 or a BRCA2 mutation. Information on current alcohol consumption was obtained from a questionnaire administered during the course of genetic counselling or at the time of enrolment. A modest inverse association between breast cancer and reported current alcohol consumption was observed among women with a BRCA1 mutation (OR = 0.82, 95% CI 0.70-0.96), but not among women with a BRCA2 mutation (OR = 1.00; 95% CI 0.71-1.41). Compared to non-drinkers, exclusive consumption of wine was associated with a significant reduction in the risk of breast cancer among BRCA1 carriers (p-trend = 0.01). Alcohol consumption does not appear to increase breast cancer risk in women carrying a BRCA gene mutation.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)479-483
Number of pages5
Issue number6
StatePublished - Dec 2010

All Science Journal Classification (ASJC) codes

  • Surgery


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