Background: Alcohol consumption has been associated with an increased prevalence of sunburn, which is an established skin cancer risk factor.
Objective: We investigated whether alcohol consumption is associated with risk of cutaneous basal cell carcinoma (BCC).
Design: We conducted a prospective analysis on alcohol consumption and risk of BCC on the basis of data from 167,765 women in the NHS (Nurses' Health Study) (1984-2010) and NHS II (1991-2011) and 43,697 men in the Health Professionals Follow-Up Study (1986-2010). Alcohol intake was repeatedly assessed every 2-4 y over the follow-up period. HRs and 95% CIs for BCC in association with alcohol intake were computed with the use of Cox proportional hazards models with adjustment for sun exposure and other skin cancer risk factors.
Results: A total of 28,951 incident BCC cases were documented over 3.74 million person-years of follow-up. Increased alcohol intake was associated with increased BCC risk in both women and men (both P-trend < 0.0001). Pooled multivariable-adjusted HRs over increasing cumulative averaged alcohol intake categories were 1.00 (reference) for nondrinkers, 1.13 (95% CI: 1.06, 1.20) for 0.1-9.9 g/d, 1.24 (95% CI: 1.14, 1.35) for 10.0-19.9 g/d, 1.27 (95% CI: 1.20, 1.35) for 20.0-29.9 g/d, and 1.22 (95% CI: 1.15, 1.30) for ≥30.0 g/d (P-trend < 0.0001, P-heterogeneity by study = 0.10 ). The association remained consistent when we used alcohol intakes over different latency periods (0-4, 4-8, 8-12, and 12-16 y) as exposures and over categories of sun exposure-related factors. In the individual alcoholic beverages, white wine and liquor were positively associated with BCC risk.
Conclusion: Alcohol consumption is associated with increased risk of cutaneous BCC in both women and men.
Keywords: alcohol; basal cell carcinoma; cohort study; epidemiology; skin cancer; sun exposure.
© 2015 American Society for Nutrition.