Alcohol consumption and the risk of renal cancers in the European prospective investigation into cancer and nutrition (EPIC)

Magdalena B. Wozniak, Paul Brennan, Darren R. Brenner, Kim Overvad, Anja Olsen, Anne Tjønneland, Marie Christine Boutron-Ruault, Françoise Clavel-Chapelon, Guy Fagherazzi, Verena Katzke, Tilman Kühn, Heiner Boeing, Manuela M. Bergmann, Annika Steffen, Androniki Naska, Antonia Trichopoulou, Dimitrios Trichopoulos, Calogero Saieva, Sara Grioni, Salvatore PanicoRosario Tumino, Paolo Vineis, H. Bas Bueno-De-Mesquita, Petra H. Peeters, Anette Hjartaker, Elisabete Weiderpass, Larraitz Arriola, Esther Molina-Montes, Eric J. Duell, Carmen Santiuste, Ramõn Alonso De La Torre, Aurelio Barricarte Gurrea, Tanja Stocks, Mattias Johansson, Börje Ljungberg, Nick Wareham, Kay Tee Khaw, Ruth C. Travis, Amanda J. Cross, Neil Murphy, Elio Riboli, Ghislaine Scelo*

*Corresponding author for this work

Research output: Contribution to journalArticleResearchpeer-review

24 Citations (Scopus)


Epidemiologic studies have reported that moderate alcohol consumption is inversely associated with the risk of renal cancer. However, there is no information available on the associations in renal cancer subsites. From 1992 through to 2010, 477,325 men and women in the European Prospective Investigation into Cancer and Nutrition cohort were followed for incident renal cancers (n-‰=-‰931). Baseline and lifetime alcohol consumption was assessed by country-specific, validated dietary questionnaires. Information on past alcohol consumption was collected by lifestyle questionnaires. Hazard ratios (HRs) and 95% confidence intervals (CIs) were estimated from Cox proportional hazard models. In multivariate analysis, total alcohol consumption at baseline was inversely associated with renal cancer; the HR and 95% CI for the increasing categories of total alcohol consumption at recruitment versus the light drinkers category were 0.78 (0.62-0.99), 0.82 (0.64-1.04), 0.70 (0.55-0.90), 0.91 (0.63-1.30), respectively, (ptrend-‰=-‰0.001). A similar relationship was observed for average lifetime alcohol consumption and for all renal cancer subsites combined or for renal parenchyma subsite. The trend was not observed in hypertensive individuals and not significant in smokers. In conclusion, moderate alcohol consumption was associated with a decreased risk of renal cancer. What's new? Previous studies have indicated that environmental or lifestyle factors may be involved in the etiology of renal cancer, and that moderate alcohol consumption may reduce the risk of this type of cancer. In this very large European study (nearly 500,000 subjects), the authors found that, indeed, total alcohol consumption was inversely associated with renal cancer overall (for all subsites combined), and also with cancers of the renal parenchyma.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)1953-1966
Number of pages14
JournalInternational Journal of Cancer
Issue number8
Publication statusPublished - 15 Oct 2015
Externally publishedYes


  • EPIC
  • alcohol consumption
  • cohort study
  • kidney cancer
  • renal cell carcinoma
  • risk factors


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