Alcohol consumption and risk of melanoma among women: pooled analysis of eight case-control studies. Academic Article uri icon


  • While alcohol consumption is known to increase the risk of several types of cancer, evidence regarding the association between alcohol and melanoma is inconclusive. This pooled analysis was conducted to examine total alcohol consumption (grams per day), and type of alcohol consumed (beer, wine, beer and wine combined, and liquor) in relation to melanoma among women using original data from eight completed case-control studies (1886 cases and 2113 controls), with adjustment for the potential confounding effects of sun exposure-related factors. We found a positive association with ever consuming alcohol [adjusted pooled odds ratio (pOR) 1.3, 95 % confidence interval (CI) 1.1-1.5]. Specifically the pORs were 1.4 (95 % CI 1.1-1.8) for wine, 1.1 (95 % CI 0.9-1.5) for beer and 1.2 (95 % CI 1.0-1.4) for liquor. However, the pOR for the highest fourth of consumption compared with never consumption was 1.0 (95 % CI 0.7-1.3) without evidence of a trend with increasing amount of total alcohol, or separately with amount of beer, wine or liquor consumed. Stratifying by anatomic site of lesion, number of nevi, age group, or histologic subtype did not alter these results. Although the results showed a weak positive association between ever consuming alcohol and melanoma occurrence, our findings do not provide strong support for the hypothesis that alcohol consumption plays a role in the development of melanoma in women.

publication date

  • November 2015