Journal of Cancer Survivorship

, Volume 4, Issue 2, pp 101–109

Alcohol consumption and non-Hodgkin lymphoma survival

  • Xuesong Han
  • Tongzhang Zheng
  • Francine M. Foss
  • Shuangge Ma
  • Theodore R. Holford
  • Peter Boyle
  • Brian Leaderer
  • Ping Zhao
  • Min Dai
  • Yawei Zhang



Epidemiological studies have shown that moderate alcohol drinkers have a lower death rate for all causes. Alcohol drinking has also been associated with reduced risk of non-Hodgkin lymphoma (NHL). Here, we examined the role of alcohol consumption on NHL survival by type of alcohol consumed and NHL subtype.


A cohort of 575 female NHL incident cases diagnosed during 1996–2000 in Connecticut was followed-up for a median of 7.75 years. Demographic, clinical, and lifestyle information was collected at diagnosis. Survival analyses were conducted with Kaplan-Meier methods, and hazard ratios (HR) were estimated from Cox Proportional Hazards models.


Compared to never drinkers, wine drinkers experienced better overall survival (75% vs. 69% five-year survival rates, p-value for log-rank test = 0.030) and better disease free survival (70% vs. 67% five-year disease-free survival rates, p-value for log-rank test = 0.049). Analysis by NHL subtype shows that the favorable effect of wine consumption was mainly seen for patients diagnosed with diffuse large B-cell lymphoma (DLBCL) (wine drinkers for more than 25 years vs. never drinkers: HR = 0.36, 95% CI 0.14–0.94 for overall survival; HR = 0.38, 95% CI 0.16–0.94 for disease-free survival), and the adverse effect of liquor consumption was also observed among DLBCL patients (liquor drinkers vs. never drinkers: HR=2.49, 95% CI 1.26–4.93 for disease-free survival).


Our results suggest a moderate relationship between pre-diagnostic alcohol consumption and NHL survival, particularly for DLBCL. The results need to be replicated in larger studies.

Implications for cancer survivors

Pre-diagnostic behaviors might impact the prognosis and survival of NHL patients.


Alcohol Wine Liquor Non-Hodgkin lymphoma Prognosis Survival 


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Copyright information

© Springer Science+Business Media, LLC 2009

Authors and Affiliations

  • Xuesong Han
    • 1
  • Tongzhang Zheng
    • 1
  • Francine M. Foss
    • 2
  • Shuangge Ma
    • 1
  • Theodore R. Holford
    • 1
  • Peter Boyle
    • 3
  • Brian Leaderer
    • 1
  • Ping Zhao
    • 4
  • Min Dai
    • 4
  • Yawei Zhang
    • 1
    • 5
  1. 1.School of Public HealthYale UniversityNew HavenUSA
  2. 2.School of MedicineYale UniversityNew HavenUSA
  3. 3.International Prevention Research InstituteLyonFrance
  4. 4.Cancer Institute/HospitalChinese Academy of Medical SciencesBeijingPeople’s Republic of China
  5. 5.Yale University School of Public HealthNew HavenUSA

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