august 2014

Alcohol drinking and risk of leukemia-a systematic review and meta-analysis of the dose-risk relation

The association between alcohol and leukemia risk has been addressed in several studies in the past two decades, but results have been inconsistent. Therefore, we conducted a systematic review and meta-analysis to quantify the dose-risk relation. Through the literature search up to August 2013, we identified 18 studies, 10 case-control and 8 cohorts, carried out in a total of 7142 leukemia cases. We derived pooled meta-analytic estimates using random-effects models, taking into account the correlation between estimates, and we performed a dose-risk analysis using a class of nonlinear random-effects meta-regression models. Stratified analyses were carried out on leukemia subtypes and groups, in order to identify possible etiologic differences. Compared with nondrinkers, the relative risks (RRs) for all leukemia were 0.94 [95% confidence interval (CI), 0.85-1.03], 0.90 (95% CI, 0.80-1.01) and 0.91 (95% CI, 0.81-1.02) for any, light (1 drink/day) alcohol drinking, respectively. The summary RRs for any alcohol drinking were 1.47 (95% CI, 0.47-4.62) for acute lymphoblastic leukemia, 0.94 (95% CI 0.77-1.15) for chronic lymphocytic leukemia, 1.02 (95% CI, 0.86-1.21) for acute myeloid leukemia and 0.93 (95% CI 0.75-1.14) for chronic myeloid leukemia. The subgroup analysis on geographical area for all leukemia combined showed RRs of 0.84 (95% CI, 0.76-0.93), 0.92 (95% CI, 0.83-1.01) and 1.32 (95% CI, 1.02-1.70) for studies conducted in America, Europe and Asia, respectively. We did not find an increased risk of leukemia among alcohol drinkers. If any, a modest favorable effect emerged for light alcohol drinking, with a model-based risk reduction of approximately 10% in regular drinkers.

Additional Info

  • Authors

    Rota M.; Porta L.; Pelucchi C.; Negri E.; Bagnardi V.; Bellocco R.; Corrao G.; Boffetta P.; La Vecchia C.
  • Issue

    Cancer Epidemiol. / pages 339-345 / volume 38
  • Published Date

    august 2014