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Wine may reduce risk of adverse events in NHL

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Published: 04/23/09

Denver—Pre-diagnosis wine consumption may reduce the risk of death and relapse among non-Hodgkin's lymphoma (NHL) patients, according to an epidemiology study presented at the AACR 100th Annual Meeting.

Xuesong Han, the first author of the abstract and a doctoral candidate at the Yale School of Public Health, said his team’s findings would need to be replicated before any public health recommendations are made, but the evidence is becoming clearer that moderate consumption of wine has numerous benefits.

"This conclusion is controversial, because excessive drinking has a negative social and health impact, and it is difficult to define what is moderate and what is excessive," Han said. "However, we are continually seeing a link between wine and positive outcomes in many cancers."

This study was the first to examine the link among patients with NHL. Han and her colleagues analyzed data from 546 women with NHL.

The researchers found those who drank wine had a 76% 5-year survival, compared with 68% for non-wine drinkers. Further research found 5-year disease-free survival was 70% among those who drank wine, compared with 65% among non-wine drinkers. Beer and/or liquor consumption did not show a benefit.

Han and colleagues also looked at subgroups of lymphoma patients and found the strongest link between wine consumption and favorable outcomes among patients with diffuse large B-cell lymphoma. These patients had a 40% to 50% reduced risk of death, relapse, or secondary cancer.

The researchers then conducted an analysis to examine the effect of wine consumption among those who had drunk wine for at least 25 years before diagnosis. NHL patients who had been drinking wine for at least this long had a 25% to 35% reduced risk of death, relapse, or secondary cancer.

Those patients with large B-cell lymphoma had about a 60% reduced risk of death, relapse, or secondary cancer if they had been drinking wine for at least 25 years before diagnosis.

"It is clear that lifestyle factors like alcohol can affect outcome," Han said.

The American Association for Cancer Research 100th Annual Meeting began April 18 and ends April 22.


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