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Alcohol lowers cancer risk

Yale Medicine Magazine, 2005 - Autumn


The incidence of non-Hodgkin’s lymphoma (NHL) is rising throughout the world—in industrialized nations it ranks as the sixth most common cancer among men and the eighth most common among women. Although studies have suggested that alcohol consumption may lower the risk of NHL, results have been inconsistent.

In July a team at the Department of Epidemiology and Public Health reported in the journal Lancet Oncology that alcohol consumption does indeed lower the risk of NHL. Unlike prior studies, this one pooled data from nine studies covering more than 15,000 people in the United States, the United Kingdom, Sweden and Italy. “This study with a large sample size allows us sufficient statistical power to analyze the data by type of alcohol consumed and disease subtype,” said principal investigator Tongzhang Zheng, Sc.D., professor of epidemiology.

Further studies are needed to explore the link between alcohol consumption and the lower risk of NHL.