Latest scientific news 04 December 2014

Moderate wine consumption may reduce risk of bone marrow tumours in women

Moderate wine consumption can reduce the risk of multiple myeloma by 23% in women.

Multiple myeloma (MM) is a cancer of a type of white blood cell normally responsible for producing antibodies as the body’s immune response. In MM, abnormal plasma cells accumulate in the bone marrow, where they interfere with the production of normal blood cells. MM develops in 6.1 per 100,000 individuals per year and is considered to be incurable but treatable.

Even though a positive association between the consumption of alcoholic beverages and various cancer sites, such as the oral cavity, upper digestive tract, colon, rectum, liver and female breast has been suggested in previous studies, the moderate intake of alcohol seems to be linked with a decreased risk for lymphomas (a form of cancer that affects the immune system).

Greek researchers carried out a meta-analysis aimed at examining the association between the consumption of alcoholic beverages and MM risk. In the 16 eligible case-control studies (3921 cases and 19 594 controls) and 10 cohort studies (3167 incident cases in total cohort of 2 557 649 subjects), the results showed that intake of alcoholic beverages was associated with a reduced MM risk in females but not in males. Especially wine consumption correlated with 23 % lower MM risk.

Psaltopoulou T, Sergentanis TN, Sergentanis IN, et al. Alcohol intake, alcoholic beverage type and multiple myeloma risk: a meta-analysis of 26 observational studies. Leuk Lymphoma. 2014 Nov 20:1-18. [Epub ahead of print]

For more information about this article, read the scientific abstract here.