Moderate alcohol consumption and the risk of endometrial cancer

Christine A. Swanson, George D. Wilbanks, Leo B. Twiggs, Rodrigue Mortel, Michael L. Berman, Rolland J. Barrett, Louise A. Brinton

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

47 Scopus citations


In a multicenter case-control study that included 400 cases and 297 controls, we examined the relation of moderate alcohol consumption to risk of endometrial cancer. We estimated average weekly intake of alcohol during adulthood from the reported frequency of intake of beer, wine, and liquor. The relative risk of endometrial cancer was 0.82 (95% confidence interval = 0.6-1.2) among women who drank, compared with lifelong abstainers. The weak protective effect of alcohol was due to a stronger inverse association among young women (<55 years). In young women, the age-adjusted relative risks of three levels of drinking (<1, 1-4, >4 drinks per week), from lowest to highest, were 0.78, 0.64, and 0.41 compared with nondrinkers. The risk estimates were not materially altered after adjustment for a variety of factors related to alcohol intake and to low risk of the disease (for example, smoking, oral contraceptive use, low body mass index, increased physical activity). The protective effect of alcohol could not be attributed to one particular type of alcohol-containing beverage, but beer appeared to have the most pronounced effect. These results suggest an inverse association between moderate alcohol consumption and endometrial cancer risk among young women, but support for a causal association is qualified and requires confirmation.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)530-536
Number of pages7
Issue number6
StatePublished - Nov 1993


  • Alcohol drinking
  • Case-control study
  • Dietary fat
  • Endometrial neoplasms
  • Exercise
  • Menopause
  • Oral contraceptives
  • Parity
  • Smoking

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Epidemiology


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