Alcohol Intake Associated with Modest Increase in Melanoma Risk

Correlation stronger for melanoma in relatively UV-spared sites
Correlation stronger for melanoma in relatively UV-spared sites

(HealthDay News) — Alcohol intake is associated with increased risk of melanoma, especially in relatively ultraviolet (UV)-spared areas, according to a study published in the December issue of Cancer, Epidemiology, Biomarkers & Prevention.

Andrew Rivera, M.D., from Harvard Medical School in Boston, and colleagues used data from three large prospective cohort studies to examine the correlation between alcohol intake and risk of melanoma.

The researchers identified 1,374 cases of invasive melanoma during 3,855,706 person-years of follow-up. Higher alcohol intake was associated with invasive melanoma (pooled multivariate hazard ratio, 1.14 [95 percent confidence interval (CI), 1.00 to 1.29] per drink/day). After adjustment for other alcoholic beverages, among alcoholic beverages, white wine consumption correlated with increased melanoma risk (pooled multivariate hazard ratio, 1.13 [95 percent CI, 1.04 to 1.24] per drink/day). The correlation between alcohol consumption and melanoma was stronger for melanoma in relatively UV-spared sites versus UV-exposed sites (trunk versus head, neck, or extremities). The pooled multivariate-adjusted hazard ratios for ≥20 g/day alcohol were 1.02 (95 percent CI, 0.64 to 1.62) and 1.73 (95 percent CI, 1.25 to 2.38) for melanomas of the head, neck, and extremities, and melanomas of the trunk, respectively, compared with nondrinkers.

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"Alcohol intake was associated with a modest increase in the risk of melanoma, particularly in UV-protected sites," the authors write.

One author disclosed financial ties to the pharmaceutical industry.

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