Purpose: The relationship between alcohol consumption and preference of alcohol type with hazard of melanoma (MM) and risk of non-melanoma skin cancer (NMSC) was examined in the Women's Health Initiative (WHI) Observational Study (OS).
Methods: A prospective cohort of 59,575 White postmenopausal women in the WHI OS (mean age 63.6) was analyzed. Cox proportional hazards models and logistic regression techniques were used to assess the hazard and risk of physician-adjudicated MM and self-reported NMSC, respectively, after adjusting for potential confounders including measures of sun exposure and skin type.
Results: Over 10.2 mean years of follow-up, 532 MM cases and 9,593 NMSC cases occurred. A significant relationship between amount of alcohol consumed and both MM and NMSC was observed, with those who consume 7+ drinks per week having a higher hazard of MM (HR 1.64 (1.09, 2.49), p global = 0.0013) and higher risk of NMSC (OR 1.23 (1.11, 1.36), p global < 0.0001) compared to non-drinkers. Lifetime alcohol consumption was also positively associated with hazard of MM (p = 0.0011) and risk of NMSC (p < 0.0001). Further, compared to non-drinkers, a preference for either white wine or liquor was associated with an increased hazard of MM (HR 1.52 (1.02, 2.27) for white wine; HR 1.65 (1.07, 2.55) for liquor) and risk of NMSC (OR 1.16 (1.05, 1.28) for white wine; OR 1.26 (1.13, 1.41) for liquor).
Conclusions: Higher current alcohol consumption, higher lifetime alcohol consumption, and a preference for white wine or liquor were associated with increased hazard of MM and risk of NMSC.