Alcohol consumption and non-Hodgkin lymphoma in a cohort of older women

B. C.H. Chiu, J. R. Cerhan, S. M. Gapstur, T. A. Sellers, W. Zheng, C. T. Lutz, R. B. Wallace, J. D. Potter

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

62 Scopus citations


We investigated the relation of alcohol consumption to risk of non-Hodgkin's lymphoma (NHL) in a cohort of 36,156 Iowa women aged 55-69 years who participated in the Iowa Women's Health Study in 1986. Alcohol consumption at baseline was obtained using a mailed questionnaire. During the 9-year follow-up period, 143 incident cases of NHL were identified. Higher alcohol consumption was significantly associated with a decreased risk of NHL (P-trend = 0.03). Compared to non-drinkers, multivariate-adjusted relative risks (RRs) were decreased for women with intake of ≤ 3.4 g day-1 (RR = 0.78; 95% confidence interval (CI 0.51-1.21) and > 3.4 g day-1 (RR = 0.59; 0.36-0.97). The inverse association could not be attributed to one particular type of alcoholic beverage, although red wine (RR = 0.21 for > 2 glasses per month vs non-drinker, 0.05-0.86; P-trend = 0.02) has the most distinct effect. The apparent protective effect was universal regardless of specific NHL grade or Working Formulation subtype, but was most pronounced for nodal NHL (RR = 0.48; 0.26-0.90; P-trend = 0.01) and low-grade NHL (RR = 0.52: 0.21-1.26; P-trend = 0.05). These data suggest that moderate alcohol consumption is inversely associated with the risk of NHL in older women and the amount of alcohol consumed, rather than the type of alcoholic beverages, appears to be the main effect determinant.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)1476-1482
Number of pages7
JournalBritish Journal of Cancer
Issue number9
StatePublished - 1999

Bibliographical note

Funding Information:
The authors thank Kathleen McKeen, State Health Registry of Iowa, and Ching-Ping Hong, MS, University of Minnesota, for their helpful contributions. This research was supported by National Cancer Institute Grant R01 CA39742. Dr Cerhan was supported in part by a National Cancer Institute Preventive Oncology Academic Award (K07 CA64220).


  • Alcohol
  • Cohort study
  • Lymphoma
  • Non-Hodgkin

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Oncology
  • Cancer Research


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