Moderate alcohol intake appears to be associated with a decreased risk of renal cell carcinoma in middle-age and older women, according to the results of a prospective study conducted in Sweden.
Dr. Alicja Wolk, of Karolinska Institute, Stockholm, and colleagues examined the association between alcohol consumption and the incidence of renal cell carcinoma in 59,237 women between the ages of 40 and 76 years. At enrollment, between 1987 and 1990, the women were cancer-free and had completed a food-frequency questionnaire that included questions about alcohol intake.A total of 132 incident cases of renal cell carcinoma were diagnosed through June 30, 2004, according to the report published in the December issue of the International Journal of Cancer.Compared with women who consumed less than 2.5 g/d of alcohol, those who consumed more than 4.3 g/d had a lower but nonsignificant risk of renal cell carcinoma (RR = 0.71).The corresponding relative risk estimated among women 55 years of age or older at baseline was 0.33. Among women with BMI greater than 25 kg/m squared, the RR was 0.30 (p = 0.04 for both).Overall, 44% of the women in the cohort were drinkers. Among women with renal cell carcinoma, 29% were drinkers. Women who drank at least one serving of alcoholic beverages per week had a lower risk of renal cell carcinoma (RR = 0.62) than those who drank less. The corresponding relative risk estimated for women at least 55 years of age was 0.44.”The nature of the association between alcohol consumption and renal cell carcinoma is not well understood,” Dr. Wolk and colleagues note. “In postmenopausal women, moderate consumption of alcohol was associated with decreased triglyceride concentrations.””Thus, alcohol consumption has similar effects as cholesterol-lowering statin drugs (decrease of LDL and triglycerides, increase of HDL), use of which has been associated with a 20% decrease of renal cell carcinoma risk.”(Source: Int J Cancer 2005;117:848-853: Reuters Health: Oncolink: December 2005.)