Page last updated: September 12, 2018

Alcohol consumption and risk of multiple myeloma in the NIH-AARP Diet and Health Study

The epidemiologic evidence regarding the relationship between alcohol consumption and multiple myeloma (MM) risk remains limited and inconsistent, although recent studies suggest a potential protective effect.

The risk of MM in relation to alcohol consumption frequency was prospectively investigated among 499,292 participants enrolled in the National Institutes of Health (NIH)-AARP Diet and Health Study in 1995-1996. A total of 1,312 MM cases were identified during follow-up through December 2011. Hazard ratios (HR) and 95% confidence intervals (CI) for categories of alcohol consumption relative to those defined as light drinkers (<1 drink/week) were estimated.

Overall, increasing frequency of alcohol consumption was inversely associated with MM with a statistically significant association among those who consumed 2 drinks per day (HR=0.70, 95% CI: 0.50, 0.98); similar but not statistically significant associations were observed for greater frequency of alcohol consumption.

The study found that overall, among women, risk of multiple myeloma was reduced among those who consumed less that one drink per day (HR=0.73, 95% CI: 0.56, 0.97) and associations with greater frequency of alcohol consumption were inverse although not statistically significant.

The findings of this large prospective investigation suggest that moderate alcohol consumption may be associated with reduced future risk of MM.

Source: Alcohol consumption and risk of multiple myeloma in the NIH-AARP Diet and Health Study. Santo L, Liao LM, Andreotti G, Purdue MP, Hofmann JN. Int J Cancer. 2018 Jul 4.
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