(HealthDay News) – Adolescent alcohol consumption is associated with increased risk of proliferative benign breast disease (BBD), which is a risk factor for breast cancer, and there is no evidence that adolescent folate intake provides a protective effect against alcohol-associated BBD.

Ying Liu, MD, PhD of the Washington University School of Medicine in St. Louis, and colleagues analyzed data from 29,117 women in the Nurses’ Health Study II who completed both adolescent alcohol consumption questions in 1989 and an adolescent diet questionnaire in 1998. A total of 659 women with proliferative BBD diagnosed between 1991–2001 were confirmed by central pathology review.

The researchers found that adolescent alcohol consumption was dose-dependently associated with an increased risk of proliferative BBD (hazard ratio, 1.15 per 10g/day consumption; 95% confidence interval, 1.03–1.28). No significant association was observed between adolescent folate intake and the risk of proliferative BBD. Each 10g/day increment of alcohol intake during adolescence was associated with a 21% increase in the risk of proliferative BBD among women with low folate intake during adolescence. This number was not significantly different from the alcohol-associated risk among women with moderate and high folate intake during adolescence.

“Adolescent alcohol consumption is associated with increased risk of proliferative BBD, which may not be reduced by increased folate intake during adolescence,” the authors write.

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