Alcohol intake tied to slightly lower risk for lethal prostate cancer

  • Downer MK & al.
  • J Clin Oncol
  • 26 Apr 2019

  • curated by Miriam Davis, PhD
  • Univadis Clinical Summaries
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Takeaway

  • Alcohol drinking among men at risk for prostate cancer is associated with a slightly lower risk of lethal disease (metastasis or death) than abstaining, according to 25-year data from a large prospective cohort.
  • Lower risk of progression to lethal disease was observed with red wine consumption among men with prostate cancer.

Why this matters

  • Findings suggest that moderate alcohol consumption is safe for men with and without prostate cancer.

Study design

  • Prospective all-male Health Professionals Follow-up Study involving 47,568 cancer-free men at risk for prostate cancer and 5182 with nonmetastatic disease (1986-2012).
  • Funding: Prostate Cancer Foundation; NIH.

Key results

  • Any (vs none) alcohol intake was associated with a 16% lower risk of lethal prostate cancer (HR, 0.84; 95% CI, 0.71-0.99) among men at risk.
  • Among men with prostate cancer:
    • Any (vs none) alcohol intake was not associated with progression to lethal prostate cancer (HR, 0.99; 95% CI, 0.57-1.72).
    • Any red wine intake (vs none) was associated with 50% reduced risk of progression (HR, 0.50; 95% CI, 0.29-0.86).
    • Moderate total alcohol (15-30 g/day; vs none) was associated with lower risk of death (HR, 0.71; 95% CI, 0.50-1.00), as was any red wine (HR, 0.74; 95% CI, 0.57-0.97; Ptrend=.007).

Limitations

  • Observational design.
  • Potential unmeasured confounders.

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