Alcohol Consumption and Urinary Estrogens and Estrogen Metabolites in Premenopausal Women

Terryl J. Hartman, Julia S. Sisti, Susan E. Hankinson, Xia Xu, A. Heather Eliassen, Regina Ziegler

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

13 Scopus citations


In a cross-sectional analysis, we evaluated the associations of usual total alcohol and wine intake with a comprehensive profile of mid-luteal phase urinary estrogens and estrogen metabolites (referred to jointly as EM) in a sample of 603 premenopausal women participating in the Nurses’ Health Study II (NHSII). A total of 15 individual EM (pmol/mg creatinine) were measured by a liquid chromatography/tandem mass spectrometry (LC-MS/MS) method with high accuracy and reproducibility. We used linear mixed models to calculate the adjusted geometric means of individual EM, EM grouped by metabolic pathways, and pathway ratios by category of alcohol intake with non-drinkers of alcohol as the referent. Total alcohol intake was not associated with total EM but was positively associated with estradiol (26 % higher among women consuming >15 g/day vs. non-drinkers; P trend = 0.03). Wine consumption was positively associated with a number of EM measures including estradiol (22 % higher among women consuming ≥5 drinks/week vs. non-drinkers, P trend < 0.0001). In conclusion, the total alcohol intake was positively and significantly associated with urinary estradiol levels. Some differences in urinary estrogen metabolites were observed with wine drinking, when compared with non-drinkers. This study strengthens the evidence that alcohol consumption might play a role in breast cancer and other estrogen-related conditions. Additional studies of premenopausal women are needed to further explore the association of alcohol, particularly the specific types of alcohol, on patterns of estrogen metabolism in blood, urine, and tissue.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)65-74
Number of pages10
JournalHormones and Cancer
Issue number1
StatePublished - Feb 1 2016

All Science Journal Classification (ASJC) codes

  • Endocrinology, Diabetes and Metabolism
  • Oncology
  • Endocrinology
  • Endocrine and Autonomic Systems
  • Cancer Research


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