World Journal of Urology

, Volume 37, Issue 11, pp 2313–2324 | Cite as

Impact of alcohol consumption on the risk of developing bladder cancer: a systematic review and meta-analysis

  • Mihai Dorin Vartolomei
  • Takehiro Iwata
  • Beat Roth
  • Shoji Kimura
  • Romain Mathieu
  • Matteo Ferro
  • Shahrokh F. ShariatEmail author
  • Christian Seitz
Topic Paper



Epidemiologic studies that investigated alcohol consumption in relation to the risk of bladder cancer (BCa) have demonstrated inconsistent results. We conducted a systematic review and meta-analysis of the literature to investigate the association of alcohol including different types of alcoholic beverages consumption with the risk of BCa.

Materials and methods

A systematic search of Web of Science, Medline/PubMed and Cochrane library was performed in May 2018. Studies were considered eligible if they assessed the risk of BCa due to alcohol consumption (moderate or heavy dose) and different types of alcoholic beverages (moderate or heavy dose) in multivariable analysis in the general population (all genders, males or females) or compared with a control group of individuals without BCa. Study design: observational cohorts or case–control.


Sixteen studies were included in this meta-analysis. Moderate and heavy alcohol consumption did not increase the risk of BCa in the entire population. Sub-group and sensitivity analyses revealed that heavy alcohol consumption increased significantly the risk of BCa in the Japanese population, RR 1.31 (95% CI 1.08–1.58, P < 0.01) in the multivariable analysis, and in males RR of 1.50 (95% CI 1.18–1.92, P < 0.01), with no significant statistical heterogeneity. Moreover, heavy consumption of spirits drinks increased the risk of BCa in males, RR 1.42 (95% CI 1.15–1.75, P < 0.01).


In this meta-analysis, moderate and heavy alcohol consumption did not increase the risk of bladder cancer significantly. However, heavy consumption of alcohol might increase the risk of BCa in males and in some specific populations.


Alcohol consumption Cancer risk Bladder cancer 



M.D.V had an EUSP lab/clinical fellowship awarded by EAU (European Association of Urology) and an Ernst Mach Grant awarded by OeAD, Austria.

Author contribution

Protocol/project development: MDV, TI, BR, SK, RM, MF, SFS, CS. Data collection or management: MDV, TI, BR, SK, RM, MF, SFS, CS. Data analysis: MDV, TI, BR, SK, RM, MF, SFS, CS. Manuscript writing/editing: MDV, TI, BR, SK, RM, MF, SFS, CS.

Compliance with ethical standards

Conflict of interest

The authors declare that they have no conflict of interest.

Informed consent

For this type of study formal consent is not required.

Human and animal rights

This article does not contain any studies with human participants or animals performed by any of the authors.

Supplementary material

345_2019_2825_MOESM1_ESM.docx (23 kb)
Supplementary material 1 (DOCX 23 kb)


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Copyright information

© Springer-Verlag GmbH Germany, part of Springer Nature 2019

Authors and Affiliations

  1. 1.Department of Urology, Comprehensive Cancer Center, Vienna General HospitalMedical University of ViennaViennaAustria
  2. 2.Department of Cell and Molecular BiologyUniversity of Medicine, Pharmacy, Sciences and TechnologyTargu MuresRomania
  3. 3.Department of Urology, Okayama University Graduate School of MedicineDentistry and Pharmaceutical SciencesOkayamaJapan
  4. 4.Department of UrologyUniversity of BernBernSwitzerland
  5. 5.Department of UrologyJikei University School of MedicineTokyoJapan
  6. 6.Department of UrologyRennes University HospitalRennesFrance
  7. 7.Division of UrologyEuropean Institute of OncologyMilanItaly
  8. 8.Department of UrologyWeill Cornell Medical CollegeNew YorkUSA
  9. 9.Department of Urology, Second Faculty of MedicineCharles UniversityPragueCzech Republic
  10. 10.Institute for Urology and Reproductive HealthI.M. Sechenov First Moscow State Medical UniversityMoscowRussia
  11. 11.Department of UrologyUniversity of Texas Southwestern Medical CenterDallasUSA

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