Early-life alcohol intake may increase the odds of high-grade prostate cancer

Bottom Line: Compared with non-drinkers, men who consumed at least seven drinks per week during adolescence (ages 15-19) had three times the odds of being diagnosed with clinically significant prostate cancer.

Journal in Which the Study was Published: Cancer Prevention Research, a journal of the American Association for Cancer Research

Author: Emma Allott, PhD, assistant professor in the Department of Nutrition at the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill

Background: “The prostate is an organ that grows rapidly during puberty, so it’s potentially more susceptible to carcinogenic exposure during the adolescent years,” said Allott. “For this reason, we wanted to investigate if heavy alcohol consumption in early life was associated with the aggressiveness of prostate cancer later.”

Previous research in this area often focused on the effect of alcohol intake on overall prostate cancer risk. Because many cases of prostate cancer are indolent, the researchers analyzed whether alcohol consumption during puberty and midlife are associated with high-grade prostate cancer in adulthood.

How the Study Was Conducted: Allott and colleagues evaluated data from 650 men undergoing a prostate biopsy at the Durham Veterans Affairs Medical Center between January 2007 and January 2018. These veterans had no prior history of


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