Factors Associated with Women’s Unwillingness to Decrease Alcohol Intake to Decrease Breast Cancer Risk

Alcohol intake is a known risk factor for breast cancer, however many women are unwilling to decrease their consumption. This study sought to identify factors associated with women’s unwillingness to decrease their alcohol intake to decrease their breast cancer risk through a survey of 942 women in a screening mammography cohort. 13.2% of women indicated they were unwilling to decrease their alcohol intake to less than 1 glass/day. After adjusting for potential confounders, women who were 60 years and older were more than twice as unwilling to decrease their alcohol intake compared to their younger counterparts. Women who had an annual household income of more than $200,000 were 1.75 times more unwilling to decrease their alcohol intake. These results suggest that educating women, particularly older and more affluent women, about the cancer risk associated with alcohol consumption may be necessary. The primary care setting provides valuable opportunities for “teachable moments” in which GPs can counsel patients on appropriate prevention behaviours.

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