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Recent alcohol consumption and risk of incident ovarian carcinoma: a pooled analysis of 5,342 cases and 10,358 controls from the Ovarian Cancer Association Consortium

Abstract

Background

Studies evaluating the association between alcohol intake and ovarian carcinoma (OC) are inconsistent. Because OC and ovarian borderline tumor histologic types differ genetically, molecularly and clinically, large numbers are needed to estimate risk associations.

Methods

We pooled data from 12 case-control studies in the Ovarian Cancer Association Consortium comprising 5,342 OC cases, 1,455 borderline tumors and 10,358 controls with quantitative information on recent alcohol intake to estimate odds ratios (OR) and 95% confidence intervals (CI) according to frequencies of average daily intakes of beer, wine, liquor and total alcohol.

Results

Total alcohol intake was not associated with all OC: consumption of >3 drinks per day compared to none, OR=0.92, 95% CI=0.76-1.10, P trend=0.27. Among beverage types, a statistically non-significant decreased risk was observed among women who consumed >8 oz/d of wine compared to none (OR=0.83, 95% CI=0.68-1.01, P trend=0.08). This association was more apparent among women with clear cell OC (OR, 0.43; 95% CI, 0.22-0.83; P trend=0.02), although based on only 10 cases and not statistically different from the other histologic types (P value for statistical heterogeneity between histologic types = 0.09). Statistical heterogeneity of the alcohol- and wine-OC associations was seen among three European studies, but not among eight North American studies. No statistically significant associations were observed in separate analyses evaluating risk with borderline tumors of serous or mucinous histology. Smoking status did not significantly modify any of the associations.

Conclusions

We found no evidence that recent moderate alcohol drinking is associated with increased risk for overall OC, or that variation in risk is associated strongly with specific histologic types. Understanding modifiable causes of these elusive and deadly cancers remains a priority for the research community.