Monday, March 8, 2010
Alcohol consumption may be associated with an increased risk of prostate cancer in African-American men
A team collected data, including information on alcohol intake, from 334 men undergoing prostate biopsy from 2007 to 2009. Overall, regular consumption of three alcoholic drinks per week was associated with a significant 2.46 times increased risk of prostate cancer. When the investigators stratified subjects by race, alcohol intake was associated with a significant fivefold increased risk of prostate cancer in African Americans but a non-significant 85% increased risk in Caucasians. There may be genetic differences in the way African Americans metabolize alcohol. If the findings are confirmed in other populations public awareness of the negative effects of alcohol intake on prostate cancer, specifically in African Americans, should be promoted. Most studies examining the association between alcohol consumption and prostate cancer risk have found no link, but these studies have involved predominantly Caucasian men. Previous studies have found that certain polymorphisms of the alcohol dehydrogenase gene specific to African and Native Americans may lead to bodily accumulations of acetaldehyde, a carcinogen.