Alcohol use and prostate cancer: a meta-analysis

Mol Nutr Food Res. 2009 Feb;53(2):240-55. doi: 10.1002/mnfr.200800122.


Past reviews have concluded that there is no association between alcohol use and prostate cancer incidence. We performed a meta-analysis of existing epidemiological studies finding, in contrast, evidence to suggest that prostate incidence is positively linearly associated with heavier alcohol use. This finding was largely due to the contribution of population case-control studies and those measuring men recruited before age 60. No relationship between alcohol consumption and prostate cancer was found for cohort and hospital case-control studies. Analyses of design effects modestly suggests that population case-control studies were probably better suited to identify potential alcohol-prostate cancer relationships due to the close temporal proximity of the measurement of level of alcohol consumption to diagnosis. Future efforts should be made to exclude all ill subjects from control groups/baseline samples in addition to accounting for changes in consumption with advancing age and the onset of illness. The alcohol-prostate cancer association remained significant despite controlling for the degree to which studies endeavored to eliminate false negatives from their control groups.

Publication types

  • Meta-Analysis
  • Research Support, Non-U.S. Gov't

MeSH terms

  • Alcohol Drinking / adverse effects*
  • Alcoholism / complications
  • Case-Control Studies
  • Humans
  • Incidence
  • Male
  • Prostatic Neoplasms / epidemiology
  • Prostatic Neoplasms / etiology*