The risk of any type of cancer increases with increasing alcohol consumption, as did the risk of some specific types of cancer, including cancer of the breast, rectum, and liver. The type of alcohol consumed, even red wine, did not affect the cancer risk.
"Although the magnitude of the excess absolute risk associated with one additional drink per day may appear small for some cancer sites, the high prevalence of moderate alcohol drinking among women in many populations means that the proportion of cancers attributable to alcohol is an important public health issue," the authors write.
There has been previously reported to be a cardiovascular benefit associated with moderate alcohol consumption. The question arises whether the risk of cancer outweighs that benefit for middle-aged women.