Intake of alcohol and alcoholic beverages and the risk of basal cell carcinoma of the skin

Teresa T. Fung, David J. Hunter, Donna Spiegelman, Graham A. Colditz, Eric B. Rimm, Walter C. Willett

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47 Scopus citations


We prospectively examined the intake of alcoholic beverages in relation to the risk of basal cell carcinoma BCC in two large cohorts of men and women. Alcohol intake was assessed with food frequency questionnaires every 2-4 years, and BCC was ascertained by self-report. We used a pooled logistic regression to model the association between alcohol intake and BCC adjusting for various health, sun exposure, and sun-sensitivity factors. During 8 years of follow-up in women (1986-1994) we recorded 3060 cases of BCC, and during 10 years (1986-1996), we recorded 3028 cases in men. Significant positive associations were observed between total alcohol intake (P for trend < 0.0001), alcohol from liquor (P for trend = 0.003), and white wine (P for trend = 0.01) intake and risk of BCC. Compared with those who abstained, those who drank 0.1-4.9 g, 5.0-14.9 g, 15.0-14.9 g, and 30 g or more alcohol a day had multivariate relative risks of 1.11 [95% confidence interval (CI), 1.03, 1.19], 1.26 (95% CI, 1.12, 1.41), 1.29 (95% CI, 1.18, 1.42), and 1.12 (95% CI, 1.01, 1.26), respectively. Alcohol from beer had no association with BCC in either cohort, and red wine appeared to have an inverse association in women (P for trend = 0.004) but not in men. These associations remained unchanged after adjustment for individual vitamins, multivitamin use, outdoor walking, and exclusion of follow-up time after last physical examination among those who never had BCC. Alcohol intake was associated with BCC, but the association appeared to be different for each type of alcoholic beverage. Other studies are needed to confirm these results.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)1119-1122
Number of pages4
JournalCancer Epidemiology Biomarkers and Prevention
Issue number10
StatePublished - Oct 2002


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