Skip to main content

Cigarette smoking and postmenopausal breast cancer risk: results from the NIH-AARP Diet and Health Study

Thursday, October 11, 2012 — Poster Session III

10:00 a.m. – Noon

Natcher Conference Center, Building 45




  • S.J. Nyante
  • G.L. Gierach
  • C.M. Dallal
  • Y. Park
  • A.R. Hollenbeck
  • L.A. Brinton


The relationship between smoking and breast cancer risk is unclear. We investigated this relationship and interaction with alcohol in the NIH-AARP Diet and Health Study. Postmenopausal women ages 50-71 years (N=192,076) were followed from 1995-1996 through 2006, during which time 7,698 primary invasive breast cancers were diagnosed. Cigarette smoking and alcohol use were self-reported at baseline; alcohol g/day was calculated from multiple questions. Adjusted hazard ratios (HRs) and confidence intervals (CIs) were estimated using proportional hazards regression. The association between current smoking (vs. never) and breast cancer risk differed significantly by alcohol use (P-interaction < 0.01): the HR was 1.15 (95% CI 1.05, 1.25) among women who drank ≤5 g/day and 1.41 (95% CI 1.22, 1.61) among women who drank >5 g/day. The association among >5 g/day drinkers persisted after adjustment for amount of alcohol consumed (HR 1.36, 95% CI 1.18, 1.56) and increased risks of ER+/PR+ (HR 1.29, 95% CI 1.01, 1.64) and ER+/PR- (HR 2.11, 95% CI 1.27, 3.50) but not ER-/PR- tumors (HR 1.07, 95% CI 0.64, 1.79). In summary, smoking was associated with elevated breast cancer risk which was stronger for women who drank >5 g/day of alcohol. Further analyses are needed to understand this interaction.

back to top