Breast cancer risk raised by alcohol intake

High alcohol consumption before a woman’s first pregnancy may raise the risk of her developing breast cancer, new research suggests.

1308835415944_ORIGINALThe study, conducted by a team from the Washington University school of medicine in St Louis, said that women who drink heavily between their first period and first pregnancy ran a higher risk than non-drinkers of developing benign breast disease.

Published in the Journal of the National Cancer Institute, the report added that each 10 gram-a-day increase in alcohol consumption raised the risk by 11% and women with an intake of at least 15g per day, nearly two units, had 34% more chance of contracting the disease than non-drinkers.

The researchers stated: The longer the duration of menarche to first pregnancy, the higher is a woman’s risk of breast cancer.

“Compared with non-drinkers with a shorter duration, non-drinkers with duration of 10 or more years between menarche and first pregnancy had 26% and 81% increased risk of breast cancer and proliferative BBD in our analysis respectively.”

The report is similar to a recent study in the UK which noted a rise in alcohol-related deaths of women born in the 1970s.

That particular study courted the possibility that the heavy-drinking “ladette” culture of the 1990s may have been partially to blame, especially as overall alcohol deaths in the UK are down.

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