Alcohol and epithelial ovarian cancer

J Clin Epidemiol. 1992 Sep;45(9):1025-30. doi: 10.1016/0895-4356(92)90119-8.


The relationship between alcohol consumption and the risk of epithelial ovarian cancer was analysed using data from a case-control study of 801 histologically confirmed epithelial ovarian cancers and 2114 controls in hospital for acute, non-neoplastic, gynecological, or hormone-related conditions, admitted to a network of teaching and general hospitals in the greater Milan area, northern Italy, i.e. a region with comparatively frequent alcohol consumption by women. Compared to alcohol abstainers, the multivariate relative risks (RRs) were 1.0 [95% confidence interval (CI), 0.7 to 1.4] for less than one, 1.1. (95% CI 0.9 to 1.6) for one to two, 1.2 (95% CI 1.0 to 1.5) for two to three and 1.3 (95% CI 0.9 to 1.8) for three or more drinks per day. A significant direct trend in risk with dose emerged. This finding chiefly derived from an association between ovarian cancer risk and consumption of wine (which accounts for over 90% of alcohol intake in this female population). Although no significant interaction between the effect of alcohol consumption and various women's characteristics emerged, there was a hint that the adverse influence of alcohol consumption is more marked in middle-age and less educated women. Thus, the results of this study suggest that relatively elevated alcohol intake (of the order of 40 g per day or more) may cause a modest increase of epithelial ovarian cancer risk.

MeSH terms

  • Adult
  • Age Factors
  • Aged
  • Alcohol Drinking / adverse effects*
  • Beer
  • Carcinoma / etiology*
  • Case-Control Studies
  • Diet
  • Dose-Response Relationship, Drug
  • Educational Status
  • Ethanol / administration & dosage
  • Ethanol / adverse effects*
  • Female
  • Humans
  • Middle Aged
  • Ovarian Neoplasms / etiology*
  • Regression Analysis
  • Risk Factors
  • Wine


  • Ethanol