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Lifetime alcohol intake and risk of non-Hodgkin lymphoma

Cohort studies have reported inconsistent evidence regarding alcohol intake and risk of non-Hodgkin lymphoma (NHL), mostly based on alcohol intake assessed close to study enrolment. A study published in the International Journal of Cancer examined this association using alcohol intake measured from age 20 onwards.

Usual alcohol intake for 10-year periods from age 20 was calculated using recalled frequency and quantity of beverage-specific consumption for 37,990 participants aged 40-69 years from the Melbourne Collaborative Cohort Study. Cox regression was performed to derive hazard ratios (HRs) and 95% confidence intervals (CIs) for the association between alcohol intake (g/day) and NHL risk.

After a mean follow-up of 19.3 years, 538 NHL cases were diagnosed. Approximately 80% of participants were either lifetime abstainers or consumed below 20 g of ethanol/day. All categories of lifetime alcoholintake were associated with about 20% lower incidence of NHL compared with lifetime abstention, but there was no evidence of a trend by amount consumed (HR = 0.97 per 10 g/day increment in intake, 95% CI: 0.92-1.03). HRs for beer, wine and spirits were 0.91 (95% CI: 0.83-1.00), 1.03 (95% CI: 0.94-1.12) and 1.06 (95% CI: 0.83-1.37), respectively, per 10 g/day increment in lifetime intake. There were no significant differences in associations between NHL subtypes.

In this low-drinking cohort, the authors state that they did not detect a dose-dependent association between lifetime alcohol intake and NHL risk.

Source: Lifetime alcohol intake and risk of non-Hodgkin lymphoma: Findings from the Melbourne Collaborative Cohort Study. Jayasekara H, Juneja S, Hodge AM, Room R, Milne RL, Hopper JL, English DR, Giles GG, MacInnis RJ. Int J Cancer. 2017 Oct 21. doi: 10.1002/ijc.31123.

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