Alcohol consumption and prostate cancer risk: results from the Melbourne collaborative cohort study

Int J Cancer. 2006 Sep 15;119(6):1501-4. doi: 10.1002/ijc.21983.


Although there is little evidence to support an association between alcohol consumption and prostate cancer risk, questions remain concerning the effect on aggressive and nonaggressive tumours and the pattern and type of alcohol consumed. In a prospective cohort of 16,872 men aged 27-70 years at recruitment and followed-up from 1994 to the end of 2003, 732 incident prostate cancers were identified through the local population cancer registry, including 132 aggressive cases and 53 prostate cancer deaths. Detailed information on alcohol consumption was taken at baseline by trained interviewers using a structured questionnaire. Overall, alcohol intake was not associated with prostate cancer incidence. Compared to abstainers, men consuming 1-19 g/d of alcohol had a slightly reduced incidence of aggressive prostate cancers (hazard ratio 0.67; 95% confidence interval (CI) 0.43, 1.06) and prostate cancer mortality (hazard ratio 0.56; 95% CI 0.28, 1.14), but their risk of nonaggressive prostate cancers was close to unity (hazard ratio 1.09; 95% CI 0.85, 1.40). No significant association with pattern of drinking or type of alcoholic beverage was found. Our results show that alcohol consumption does not influence overall prostate cancer incidence but we found suggestive evidence that alcohol consumption might decrease the incidence of aggressive prostate cancer and mortality.

Publication types

  • Research Support, Non-U.S. Gov't

MeSH terms

  • Adult
  • Aged
  • Alcohol Drinking / adverse effects*
  • Australia / epidemiology
  • Cohort Studies
  • Humans
  • Incidence
  • Male
  • Middle Aged
  • Prospective Studies
  • Prostatic Neoplasms / epidemiology*
  • Prostatic Neoplasms / etiology*
  • Risk Factors
  • Surveys and Questionnaires