No link found between alcohol consumption and bladder cancer risk
Page last updated: August 15, 2017
Alcohol consumption and risk of urothelial cell bladder cancer in the European Prospective Investigation into Cancer and Nutrition cohort

Findings on the association between alcohol consumption and bladder cancer are inconsistent. A study investigated that association in the European Prospective Investigation into Cancer and Nutrition cohort. 476,160 individuals mostly aged 35-70 years from ten countries were included and followed for 13.9 years on average.

There were 1,802 incident cases of urothelial cell carcinoma during follow up. Hazard ratios (HR) for developing urothelial cell carcinoma (UCC) were calculated using Cox proportional hazards models. Alcohol consumption at baseline and over the life course was analysed, as well as beverages type.

Baseline alcohol intake was associated with a statistically non-significant increased risk of UCC (HR 1.03; 95% confidence interval (CI) 1.00-1.06 for each additional 12 grams/day). HR in smokers was 1.04 (95% CI 1.01-1.07). Men reporting high baseline intakes of alcohol (>96 grams/day) had an increased risk of UCC (HR 1.57; 95% CI 1.03-2.40) compared to those reporting moderate intakes (<6 grams/day), but no dose-response relationship emerged. In men, an increased risk of aggressive forms of UCC was observed even at lower doses (>6 to 24 grams/day).

Average lifelong alcohol intake was not associated with the risk of UCC, however intakes of spirits > 24 grams/day were associated with an increased risk of UCC in men (1.38; 95% CI 1.01-1.91) and smokers (1.39; 95% CI 1.01-1.92), compared to moderate intakes. No association was found between alcohol and UCC in women and never smokers. In conclusion, some associations between alcohol and UCC in men and in smokers were observed, possibly due to residual confounding by tobacco smoking.

Source: Alcohol consumption and risk of urothelial cell bladder cancer in the European Prospective Investigation into Cancer and Nutrition cohort. Botteri E, Ferrari P, Roswall N, Tjønneland A, et al. Int J Cancer. 2017 Jul 19. doi: 10.1002/ijc.30894.

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