A Pooled Analysis of Alcohol Consumption and Risk of Multiple Myeloma in the International Multiple Myeloma Consortium
Background: Recent findings suggest that alcohol consumption may reduce risk of multiple myeloma.
Methods: To better understand this relationship, we conducted an analysis of six case–control studies participating in the International Multiple Myeloma Consortium (1,567 cases, 7,296 controls). Summary ORs and 95% confidence intervals (CI) relating different measures of alcohol consumption and multiple myeloma risk were computed by unconditional logistic regression with adjustment for age, race, and study center.
Results: Cases were significantly less likely than controls to report ever drinking alcohol (men: OR = 0.72; 95% CI, 0.59–0.89; women: OR = 0.81; 95% CI, 0.68–0.95). The inverse association with multiple myeloma was stronger when comparing current to never drinkers (men: OR = 0.57; 95% CI, 0.45–0.72; women: OR = 0.55; 95% CI, 0.45–0.68), but null among former drinkers. We did not observe an exposure–response relationship with increasing alcohol frequency, duration, or cumulative lifetime consumption. Additional adjustment for body mass index, education, or smoking did not affect our results; and the patterns of association were similar for each type of alcohol beverage examined.
Conclusions: Our study is, to our knowledge, the largest of its kind to date, and our findings suggest that alcohol consumption may be associated with reduced risk of multiple myeloma.
Impact: Prospective studies, especially those conducted as pooled analyses with large sample sizes, are needed to confirm our findings and further explore whether alcohol consumption provides true biologic protection against this rare, highly fatal malignancy. Cancer Epidemiol Biomarkers Prev; 1–8. ©2013 AACR.
Note: Supplementary data for this article are available at Cancer Epidemiology, Biomarkers & Prevention Online (http://cebp.aacrjournals.org/).
Novelty and Impact: To our knowledge, this is the largest analysis of alcohol consumption and multiple myeloma risk in men and women; therefore, we had excellent power to detect modest associations. Also, we were able to evaluate confounding and effect modification by putative risk factors. Our findings suggest that alcohol consumption may be associated with reduced risk of multiple myeloma, and point to the need for pooled analyses of cohort studies to better understand this relationship.
- Received March 29, 2013.
- Revision received June 13, 2013.
- Accepted July 5, 2013.
- ©2013 American Association for Cancer Research.
Published OnlineFirst August 20, 2013