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Lifetime total and beverage specific - alcohol intake and prostate cancer risk: a case-control study

Maddalena Barba12, Susan E McCann3, Holger J Schünemann14, Saverio Stranges15, Barbara Fuhrman16, Sabino De Placido2, Giuseppe Carruba7, Jo L Freudenheim1, Maurizio Trevisan1, Marcia Russell8, Tom Nochajski9 and Paola Muti1*

Author Affiliations

1 Department of Social and Preventive Medicine, School of Public Health and Health Professions, University at Buffalo, Buffalo, NY 14214, USA

2 Departments of Endocrinology and Oncology, Federico II Medical School, University of Naples, Naples, Italy

3 Department of Epidemiology, Division of Cancer Prevention and Population Sciences, Roswell Park Cancer Institute, Buffalo, NY 14263, USA

4 Department of Medicine, University at Buffalo, State University of New York, Buffalo, NY, USA

5 Department of Preventive Medical Sciences, Federico II Medical School, University of Naples, Naples, Italy

6 Gynecologic Oncology Group, Roswell Park Cancer Institute, NY, USA

7 Institutes of Oncology, School of Medicine, University of Palermo, Palermo, Italy

8 Prevention Research Center, Pacific Institute for Research and Evaluation, Berkeley, CA, USA

9 School of Social Work, State University of New York at Buffalo, Buffalo, NY, USA

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Nutrition Journal 2004, 3:23  doi:10.1186/1475-2891-3-23

Published: 9 December 2004



We investigated lifetime alcohol consumption and prostate cancer risk in a case-control study conducted in Buffalo, NY (1998–2001).


The study included 88 men, aged 45 to 85 years with incident, histologically-confirmed prostate cancer and 272 controls. We conducted extensive in-person interviews regarding lifetime alcohol consumption and other epidemiologic data.


Prostate cancer risk was not associated with lifetime intake of total and beverage specific ethanol. In addition we found no association with number of drinks per day (average drinks per day over the lifetime) or drinks per drinking day (average drinks per day on drinking days only over the lifetime). However, we observed an inverse association with the total number of drinking years. Men in the lowest tertile of total drinking years had a two-fold prostate cancer risk than men in the highest tertile (OR 2.16, 95% CI 0.98–4.78, p for trend <0.05).


Our results suggest that alcohol intake distribution across lifetime may play a more important role in prostate cancer etiology than total lifetime consumption.