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Cancer Causes & Control

, Volume 27, Issue 9, pp 1049–1058 | Cite as

Alcohol intake, drinking patterns, and prostate cancer risk and mortality: a 30-year prospective cohort study of Finnish twins

  • Barbra A. Dickerman
  • Sarah Coseo Markt
  • Markku Koskenvuo
  • Eero Pukkala
  • Lorelei A. Mucci
  • Jaakko KaprioEmail author
Original paper

Abstract

Purpose

Alcohol intake may be associated with cancer risk, but epidemiologic evidence for prostate cancer is inconsistent. We aimed to prospectively investigate the association between midlife alcohol intake and drinking patterns with future prostate cancer risk and mortality in a population-based cohort of Finnish twins.

Methods

Data were drawn from the Older Finnish Twin Cohort and included 11,372 twins followed from 1981 to 2012. Alcohol consumption was assessed by questionnaires administered at two time points over follow-up. Over the study period, 601 incident cases of prostate cancer and 110 deaths from prostate cancer occurred. Cox regression was used to evaluate associations between weekly alcohol intake and binge drinking patterns with prostate cancer risk and prostate cancer-specific mortality. Within-pair co-twin analyses were performed to control for potential confounding by shared genetic and early environmental factors.

Results

Compared to light drinkers (≤3 drinks/week; non-abstainers), heavy drinkers (>14 drinks/week) were at a 1.46-fold higher risk (HR 1.46; 95 % CI 1.12, 1.91) of prostate cancer, adjusting for important confounders. Among current drinkers, binge drinkers were at a significantly increased risk of prostate cancer (HR 1.28; 95 % CI 1.06, 1.55) compared to non-binge drinkers. Abstainers were at a 1.90-fold higher risk (HR 1.90; 95 % CI 1.04, 3.47) of prostate cancer-specific mortality compared to light drinkers, but no other significant associations for mortality were found. Co-twin analyses suggested that alcohol consumption may be associated with prostate cancer risk independent of early environmental and genetic factors.

Conclusion

Heavy regular alcohol consumption and binge drinking patterns may be associated with increased prostate cancer risk, while abstinence may be associated with increased risk of prostate cancer-specific mortality compared to light alcohol consumption.

Keywords

Alcohol Binge drinking Prospective cohort study Prostate cancer Twins 

Notes

Acknowledgments

We are grateful to Kauko Heikkilä, Ph.Lic, for assistance in database management.

Grants

JK is supported by the Academy of Finland (Grants 265240 and 263278). SCM is supported by the National Cancer Institute at the National Institutes of Health Training Grant NIH T32 CA09001.

Compliance with ethical standards

Conflict of interest

The authors declare that they have no conflicts of interest.

Supplementary material

10552_2016_778_MOESM1_ESM.docx (100 kb)
Supplementary material 1 (DOCX 100 kb)

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Copyright information

© Springer International Publishing Switzerland 2016

Authors and Affiliations

  • Barbra A. Dickerman
    • 1
  • Sarah Coseo Markt
    • 1
  • Markku Koskenvuo
    • 2
  • Eero Pukkala
    • 3
    • 4
  • Lorelei A. Mucci
    • 1
  • Jaakko Kaprio
    • 2
    • 5
    • 6
    Email author
  1. 1.Department of EpidemiologyHarvard T.H. Chan School of Public HealthBostonUSA
  2. 2.Department of Public HealthUniversity of HelsinkiHelsinkiFinland
  3. 3.Finnish Cancer RegistryInstitute for Statistical and Epidemiological Cancer ResearchHelsinkiFinland
  4. 4.School of Health SciencesUniversity of TampereTampereFinland
  5. 5.Department of HealthNational Institute for Health and WelfareHelsinkiFinland
  6. 6.Institute for Molecular Medicine (FIMM)University of HelsinkiHelsinkiFinland

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