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Alcohol Drinkers May Have Reduced Kidney Cancer Risk

Long-term study shows that at least one drink per day may decrease risk by 30 percent

THURSDAY, May 17 (HealthDay News) -- A moderate alcohol intake may significantly decrease the risk of kidney cancer compared to no alcohol intake, according to the results of a study published in the May 16 issue of the Journal of the National Cancer Institute.

Jung Eun Lee, Sc.D., of Brigham and Women's Hospital and Harvard Medical School in Boston, and colleagues conducted a pooled analysis of 12 prospective studies that included 530,469 women and 229,575 men. The maximum follow-ups were seven to 20 years.

In both men and women, the researchers found that an average daily consumption of at least one alcoholic beverage was associated with a 30 percent reduced risk of renal cell cancer compared with no alcohol intake. They also found no differential effects from the type of alcoholic beverage -- beer, wine or liquor -- suggesting that alcohol itself may be the protective factor.

"Future investigations are needed to provide information on potential mechanisms supporting this association," the authors conclude. "However, because alcohol drinking is associated with increased risks of cancers of the oral cavity, larynx, pharynx, esophagus, liver and breast, and probably the colon and rectum, maintaining a healthy weight and avoiding smoking are the principal known means to reduce the risk of renal cell cancer that should be encouraged and doing so may also reduce the risk of many other cancers as well as cardiovascular disease."

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