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Alcohol Intake and Risk of Renal Cell Carcinoma

By: Joseph Cupolo
Posted: Thursday, November 2, 2017

Findings from a team of investigators at the Mayo Clinic, Jacksonville, Florida, indicate alcohol consumption may be associated with a lower risk of renal cell carcinoma. Samuel O. Antwi, PhD, and colleagues suggest the association between alcohol intake and the risk of renal cell carcinoma appears to be modulated by interindividual, germline variation, alcohol-metabolizing genes (dehydrogenase genes). However, according to the study authors, “Consuming more than two drinks a day does not confer additional protection against [renal cell carcinoma].”

Compared with nondrinkers, those who consumed two alcoholic drinks daily had a lower risk of renal cell carcinoma (odds ratio = 0.52), based on an analysis of data from 652 cases of renal cell carcinoma and 1366 noncancer controls. As for the presence of alcohol-metabolizing genes, a per unit increase of an alcoholic drink a day was associated with a 35% lower risk of renal cell carcinoma among nonminor allele carriers, a 27% lower risk among those who carry one copy of the minor allele, and no association among those with two copies of the minor allele.

Alcohol intake was assessed using a standardized risk-factor questionnaire. Three previously genotyped polymorphisms in ADH6 and ADH7 were examined.