Study Finds Women Who Regularly Drink Wine Are at a Greater Risk of Breast Cancer


Sometimes, life is unfair.

study published Tuesday in the British Medical Journal found drinking a daily glass of wine significantly increased women's likelihood of getting breast cancer. There was, however, no corresponding risk for men. The study also found light drinking was correlated to a slight rise in the risk of getting cancer, overall.   

"For men who have never smoked, the risk of alcohol related cancers is not appreciably increased for light and moderate drinking (up to two drinks per day)," the study concluded. "However, for women who have never smoked, risk of alcohol-related cancers (mainly breast cancer) increases even within the range of up to one alcoholic drink a day."

A drink was defined as containing 15 grams of alcohol. 

Excessive alcohol consumption has long been linked to various cancers in both sexes including stomach, liver, pancreatic and gallbladder. The study was conducted by teams from Harvard's T. H. Chan School of Public Health and Brigham and Women's Hospital.

Mic/Davide Restivo/Wikipedia

The latest findings pull the plug on what had been a parade of good news for wine enthusiasts of both genders. Last year a Czech study found a glass of wine a day led to number of cardiovascular benefits (as long as it was coupled with exercise). At roughly the same time, a Canadian study found the antioxidants in a glass of red improved muscle and heart function in a way roughly equivalent to an hour at the gym. Only last month, another study purported to have evidence for wine's cancer-fighting properties. 

While many studies, like this one and this one have trumpeted the benefits of red wine for heart health, the American Heart Association has never fully bought into the hype. 

"The linkage reported in many of these studies may be due to other lifestyle factors rather than alcohol," the group wrote on their website. "No direct comparison trials have been done to determine the specific effect of wine or other alcohol on the risk of developing heart disease or stroke."

And so while "in vino veritas" is still true, it may hurt a bit more going forward.