Original Article

Prostate Cancer and Prostatic Diseases (2017) 20, 305–310; doi:10.1038/pcan.2017.12; published online 18 April 2017

Total and beverage-specific alcohol intake and the risk of aggressive prostate cancer: a case–control study

N P Papa1,2,3, R J MacInnis1,2, H Jayasekara1, D R English1,2, D Bolton3, I D Davis4,5, N Lawrentschuk3,6,7, J L Millar8, J Pedersen9, G Severi1,2, M C Southey10, J L Hopper1,2 and G G Giles1,2

  1. 1Cancer Epidemiology Centre, Cancer Council Victoria, Melbourne, VIC, Australia
  2. 2Centre for Epidemiology and Biostatistics, Melbourne School of Population and Global Health, The University of Melbourne, Melbourne, VIC, Australia
  3. 3Department of Urology, Austin Health, Heidelberg, VIC, Australia
  4. 4Monash University Eastern Health Clinical School, Box Hill, VIC, Australia
  5. 5Eastern Health, Box Hill, VIC, Australia
  6. 6Olivia Newton-John Cancer Research Institute, Melbourne, VIC, Australia
  7. 7Department of Surgical Oncology, Peter MacCallum Cancer Institute, Melbourne, VIC, Australia
  8. 8Alfred Health Radiation Oncology, The Alfred Hospital, Prahran, VIC, Australia
  9. 9TissuPath, Melbourne, VIC, Australia
  10. 10Genetic Epidemiology Laboratory, Department of Pathology, The University of Melbourne, Melbourne, VIC, Australia

Correspondence: Professor GG Giles, Cancer Epidemiology Centre, Cancer Council Victoria, 615 St Kilda Rd, Melbourne, VIC 3004P, Australia. E-mail: Graham.Giles@cancervic.org.au

Received 20 November 2016; Revised 20 January 2017; Accepted 10 February 2017
Advance online publication 18 April 2017





Ethanol in alcoholic beverages is a known carcinogen, but its association with aggressive prostate cancer (APC) is uncertain. Recent studies have shown a modest increase in risk of APC associated with heavy alcohol intake while association for beverage types remain inconsistent.



Using a case–control design and self-administered questionnaire, we examined the association between APC (high grade and/or advanced stage) and frequency and quantity of alcohol intake 2 years prior to enrolment. Furthermore, we delineated the relationships for beverage-specific intakes of beer, red wine, white wine and spirits.



The study included 1282 APC cases and 951 controls. Beer intake frequency of greater than or equal to5 days per week was associated with increased risk compared with no beer intake (odds ratio=1.66, 95% confidence interval: 1.12–2.48) whereas wine was protective at all frequencies of consumption compared with those with no wine intake. For every 10g per week ethanol intake from beer increase, the odds of advanced PC rose by 3% (OR=1.03, 95% CI: 1.02–1.05). No such increased risk was observed for red or white wine while a marginal dose–response relationship was found for spirits (OR=1.03, 95% CI: 0.99–1.07).



Heavy beer and possibly spirits consumption is associated with increased risk while no dose–response relationship was found for red or white wine. Wine drinkers at all frequencies have a decreased risk of APC compared with those who did not drink wine.

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