Page last updated:Apr 2022
Alcohol intake and risk of pituitary adenoma

The association between alcohol intake and incidence of pituitary adenoma has not been reported previously. A team from Brigham and Women’s Hospital and Harvard Medical School, Boston, examined this association in three large, prospective cohort studies.
Using data from the Nurses’ Health Study, Nurses’ Health Study II, and Health Professionals Follow-Up Study, multivariable-adjusted hazard ratios (MVHR) and 95% confidence intervals (CI) were calculated for pituitary adenoma by levels of alcohol intake.
292 incident cases of pituitary adenoma (225 among women, 67 among men) were identified among 235,973 participants with 6,548,732 person-years of follow-up. Compared with intake of ≤ 0.5 g/day, cumulative average alcohol intake in all categories was associated with reduced risk of pituitary adenoma (MVHR = 0.60, 95% CI 0.43-0.83 for 0.5-≤ 2 g/day, MVHR = 0.57, 95% CI 0.41-0.79 for > 2.0-≤ 8.0, MVHR = 0.70, 95% CI 0.47-1.04 for > 8.0-≤ 15.0, and MVHR = 0.51, 95% CI 0.32-0.83 for > 15.0 g/day). Significant inverse findings were present in women and were similar but non-significant in men. For specific alcoholic beverages, inverse associations were statistically significant for total wine (MVHR = 0.58, 95% CI 0.43-0.79 comparing 0.5-≤ 2 to ≤ 0.5 g/day), red wine (MVHR = 0.65, 95% CI 0.46-0.92 comparing 0.5-≤ 2 to ≤ 0.5 g/day), and white wine (MVHR = 0.72, 95% CI 0.53-0.97 comparing 0.5-≤ 2 to ≤ 0.5 g/day). Results were consistent using baseline intake, recent intake, and with an 8-year lag.
In three prospective cohorts, compared to almost no consumption, alcohol consumption was associated with reduced risk of pituitary adenoma. Sensitivity analyses suggest that these results are unlikely to be the result of reverse causation or diagnostic bias.
Source: Cote, D.J., Smith, T.R., Kaiser, U.B. et al. Alcohol intake and risk of pituitary adenoma. Cancer Causes Control 33, 353–361 (2022).

doi.org/10.1007/s10552-021-01523-0
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