Alcohol consumption, endogenous estrogen and mammographic density among premenopausal women

Hanne Frydenberg, Vidar G. Flote, Ine M. Larsson, Emily S. Barrett, Anne Sofie Furberg, Giske Ursin, Tom Wilsgaard, Peter T. Ellison, Anne McTiernan, Anette Hjartåker, Grazyna Jasienska, Inger Thune

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

26 Scopus citations

Abstract

Introduction: Alcohol consumption may promote aromatization of androgens to estrogens, which may partly explain the observations linking alcohol consumption to higher breast cancer risk. Whether alcohol consumption is associated with endogenous estrogen levels, and mammographic density phenotypes in premenopausal women remains unclear. Methods: Alcohol consumption was collected by self-report and interview, using semi quantitative food frequency questionnaires, and a food diary during seven days of a menstrual cycle among 202 premenopausal women, participating in the Energy Balance and Breast Cancer Aspects (EBBA) study I. Estrogen was assessed in serum and daily in saliva across an entire menstrual cycle. Computer-assisted mammographic density (Madena) was obtained from digitized mammograms taken between days 7-12 of the menstrual cycle. Multivariable regression models were used to investigate the associations between alcohol consumption, endogenous estrogen and mammographic density phenotypes. Results: Current alcohol consumption was positively associated with endogenous estrogen, and absolute mammographic density. We observed 18 % higher mean salivary 17β-estradiol levels throughout the menstrual cycle, among women who consumed more than 10 g of alcohol per day compared to women who consumed less than 10 g of alcohol per day (p = 0.034). Long-term and past-year alcohol consumption was positively associated with mammographic density. We observed a positive association between alcohol consumption (past year) and absolute mammographic density; high alcohol consumers (≥7 drinks/week) had a mean absolute mammographic density of 46.17 cm2 (95 % confidence interval (CI) 39.39, 52.95), while low alcohol consumers (<1 drink/week) had a mean absolute mammographic density of 31.26 cm2 (95 % CI 25.89, 36.64) (p-trend 0.001). After adjustments, high consumers of alcohol (≥7 drinks/week), had 5.08 (95 % CI 1.82, 14.20) times higher odds of having absolute mammographic density above median (>32.4 cm2), compared to low (<1 drink/week) alcohol consumers. Conclusion: Alcohol consumption was positively associated with daily endogenous estrogen levels and mammographic density in premenopausal women. These associations could point to an important area of breast cancer prevention.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Article number103
JournalBreast Cancer Research
Volume17
Issue number1
DOIs
StatePublished - Aug 7 2015
Externally publishedYes

All Science Journal Classification (ASJC) codes

  • Oncology
  • Cancer Research

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