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Alcohol consumption and prostate cancer risk: a meta-analysis of the dose–risk relation

Rota, Matteoa,b; Scotti, Lorenzab; Turati, Federicac,d; Tramacere, Irenec; Islami, Farhadf,h,i; Bellocco, Rinob,j; Negri, Evac; Corrao, Giovannib; Boffetta, Paolog,i; La Vecchia, Carloc,d; Bagnardi, Vincenzob,e

European Journal of Cancer Prevention: July 2012 - Volume 21 - Issue 4 - p 350–359
doi: 10.1097/CEJ.0b013e32834dbc11
Review Article: Prostate Cancer

Inconsistent results on the relationship between alcohol drinking and prostate cancer have been found. In order to provide a definite quantification of the dose–risk relation, we investigated the risk of prostate cancer at different levels of alcohol consumption, by conducting a meta-analysis of epidemiological studies. We performed a literature search using PubMed of all case–control and cohort studies published as original articles in English up to December 2010. We identified 50 case–control and 22 cohort studies, including a total of 52 899 prostate cancer cases. We derived pooled meta-analytic estimates using random-effects models, taking into account the correlation between estimates. We performed a dose–risk analysis using nonlinear random-effects meta-regression models. The overall relative risk for any alcohol drinking compared with non/occasional drinking was 1.06 [95% confidence interval (CI), 1.01–1.10]. The relative risks were 1.05 (95% CI, 1.02–1.08), 1.06 (95% CI, 1.01–1.11), and 1.08 (95% CI, 0.97–1.20) for light (≤1 drink/day), moderate (>1 to <4 drinks/day), and heavy alcohol drinking (≥4 drinks/day), respectively. This comprehensive meta-analysis provided no evidence of a material association between alcohol drinking and prostate cancer, even at high doses.

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aDepartments of Clinical Medicine and Prevention, Centre of Biostatistics for Clinical Epidemiology

bStatistics, University of Milano-Bicocca

cDepartment of Epidemiology, Mario Negri Institute for Pharmacological Research

dDepartment of Occupational Health, University of Milano

eDivision of Epidemiology and Biostatistics, European Institute of Oncology, Milan, Italy

fInternational Agency for Research on Cancer

gInternational Prevention Research Institute, Lyon, France

hDigestive Disease Research Center, Shariati Hospital, Tehran University of Medical Sciences, Tehran, Iran

iThe Tisch Cancer Institute, Mount Sinai School of Medicine, New York, USA

jDepartment of Medical Epidemiology and Biostatistics, Karolinska Institutet, Stockholm, Sweden

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Correspondence to Dr Matteo Rota, Department of Clinical Medicine and Prevention, Centre of Biostatistics for Clinical Epidemiology, University of Milano-Bicocca, Via Cadore 48, 20052, Monza, Italy Tel: +39 0264488162; fax: +39 0264488262; e-mail:

Received July 25, 2011

Accepted September 20, 2011

© 2012 Lippincott Williams & Wilkins, Inc.