Alcohol consumption and survival after breast cancer diagnosis in Japanese women: A prospective patient cohort study

Yuko Minami, Seiki Kanemura, Masaaki Kawai, Yoshikazu Nishino, Hiroshi Tada, Minoru Miyashita, Takanori Ishida, Yoichiro Kakugawa

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2 Citations (Scopus)


Background It is unclear whether alcohol consumption may impact survival after breast cancer diagnosis. To clarify the association between pretreatment alcohol consumption and survival in breast cancer patients, a prospective patient cohort study was conducted. Methods The cohort comprised 1,420 breast cancer patients diagnosed during 1997–2013 at a single institute in Japan. Alcohol drinking and other lifestyle factors were assessed by questionnaire survey at the initial admission. The patients were followed until December 31, 2016. The crude associations of pretreatment alcohol intake with survival were evaluated by Kaplan-Meier analysis. The Cox proportional hazards model was used to estimate hazard ratios (HRs) and 95% confidence intervals (CIs) controlled by confounders. Results During a median follow-up period of 8.6 years, 261 all-cause and 193 breast cancer-specific deaths were documented. Survival curves showed that ever-drinkers tended to have better survival than never-drinkers (breast cancer-specific survival, log-rank p = 0.0381). Better survival was also observed for light drinkers with an intake of <5.0 g per day. In the Cox model, ever-drinking was associated with a decreased risk of all-cause (HR: 0.75; 95% CI: 0.54–1.05) and breast cancer-specific death (HR: 0.68; 95% CI: 0.46–0.99). Light drinkers had a lower risk of breast cancer-specific death (frequency of drinking, HR = 0.57 for occasional or 1–2 times per week and 0.72 for 3–7 times per week; amount of alcohol consumed per day, HR = 0.57 for <5.0 g and 0.68 for ≥5.0 g compared with never-drinking). In terms of hormone receptor status, a significantly decreased risk of death associated with ever-drinking was observed among women with receptor-negative cancer (ER-/PR-, HR = 0.41; 95% CI: 0.20–0.84 for breast cancer-specific death). Conclusions Pretreatment, i.e., pre-diagnosis alcohol consumption is unlikely to have an adverse effect on survival after breast cancer diagnosis. Light alcohol consumption may have a beneficial effect on patient survival.

Original languageEnglish
Article numbere0224797
JournalPloS one
Issue number11
Publication statusPublished - 2019 Nov 1
Externally publishedYes

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • General


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