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Alcohol and Kidney Cancer in Women

Drinking alcohol in moderation was associated with a reduced risk of kidney cancer in middle-aged and older women in a large Swedish study.

Medical researchers studied data from 59,237 cancer-free women who were age 40-76 during the beginning period of 1987 to 1990. Kidney cancer (renal cell carcinoma) was found in 132 of the women by 1994.

As a whole, women who consumed at least one drink per week enjoyed a 38% lower risk of renal cell carcinoma than did those who drank less or who abstained. However, for women over age 55, the risk of kidney cancer dropped by two-thirds (66%).

The researchers note that drinking alcohol has effects similar to that of cholesterol-lowering statin drugs, which are associated with a 20% lower risk of renal cell carcinoma. It appears that alcohol may be much more effective than statins in lowering kidney cancer risk. However, more research is needed.

 

References:

  • Rashidkhani, B., Åkesson, A., Lindblad, P, and Wolk, A. Alcohol consumption and risk of renal cell carcinoma: A prospective study of Swedish women. International Journal of Cancer, 2005 (December 10), 117(5), 848-853

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