Silvano Gallus, ScD; Silvia Franceschi, MD; Carlo La Vecchia, MD
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Gallus S, Franceschi S, La Vecchia C. Alcohol, Postmenopausal Hormones, and Breast Cancer. Ann Intern Med. 2003;139:601-602. doi: 10.7326/0003-4819-139-7-200310070-00022
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Published: Ann Intern Med. 2003;139(7):601-602.
TO THE EDITOR:
In the Nurses' Health Study cohort, Chen and colleagues (1) found an approximately 2-fold excess risk for breast cancer in women who currently used postmenopausal hormones and drank alcohol. However, the researchers were unable to consider high alcohol consumption. To address this issue, we analyzed data from 2 Italian case–control studies. The first was conducted between 1983 and 1991 in greater Milan (2), and the second was conducted between 1991 and 1994 in 6 centers in various regions of Italy (3). The studies involved 3573 postmenopausal women (median age, 61 years [range, 31 to 74 years]) with a histologically confirmed diagnosis of incident breast cancer. Controls were 3572 postmenopausal women (median age, 61 years [range, 34 to 74 years]) admitted to the same network of hospitals for acute, non-neoplastic, non–hormone-related conditions. The participation rate exceeded 95% for both case-patients and controls. Information collected on alcohol drinking included the number of days per week that each type of alcoholic beverage (wine, beer, and spirits) was consumed, the average numbers of drinks per day, and the duration of the habit in years. Each drink included approximately 12 g of ethanol.
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Print ISSN: 0003-4819 | Online ISSN: 1539-3704
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