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Nutr Cancer. 1998;30(1):1-13.

Review of epidemiologic studies of alcohol and prostate cancer: 1971-1996.

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  • 1Division of Cancer Prevention and Control, National Cancer Institute, Bethesda, MD 20892, USA.


Prostate cancer is the most common cancer among American men, with few established risk factors. The association between prostate cancer and alcohol, a potentially modifiable risk factor, has been examined in numerous studies. We systematically reviewed the literature on alcohol and the incidence of prostate cancer by searching for published cohort and case-control studies using computerized databases, references, and experts, by evaluating studies for validity, and by summarizing the results and providing research recommendations. We found compelling evidence for no association between low-to-moderate alcohol consumption and prostate cancer. Most studies, however, did not assess the risk of heavy drinking, where there has been some suggestion of increased risk, or of lifetime patterns of drinking. None of the studies have used genetic markers, nor have they been conducted in populations with known familial risk. Further studies in some populations may be warranted.

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