Moderate Drinking and Breast Cancer

A new study has found that light to moderate drinking appears to have little effect on women’s risk for breast cancer. The research included over 13,000 women between the ages of 20 and 91 and was conducted by the Centre for Alcohol Research at the National Institute for Public Health in Denmark.

The study is consistent with those from the pioneering Framingham study, begun in the 1940's, which carefully tracks individuals over time to study risk factors in various diseases. Data from the ongoing Framingham study indicate that moderate alcohol consumption does not increase the risk of breast cancer.

The Danish findings are also consistent with other research associating heavy alcohol consumption with increased risk of breast cancer. The study defined heavy drinking as the consumption of more than 27 alcoholic drinks (beer, wine, or distilled spirits) per week.

The study is published inAlcoholism: Clinical & Experimental Research.


  • Petri, A.L., et al. Alcohol intake, type of beverage, and risk of cancer in pre- and postmenopausal women. Alcoholism: Clinical & Experimental Research, 2004, 28(7), 1084-1090.

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