Wine consumption before diagnosis of colorectal cancer is modestly associated with improved survival, according to a study published in Cancer.1

Although previous studies have shown that moderate to heavy alcohol consumption may be associated with an increased risk of colorectal cancer, the relationship between alcohol consumption and colorectal cancer survival remains unclear.

For the study, investigators identified 4966 cases of incident invasive colorectal cancer diagnosed between 1997 and 2007 that were included in the Colon Cancer Family Registry. Participants completed a risk-factor questionnaire on prediagnostic behaviors, including wine, beer, and liquor consumption, at baseline.

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Results showed that patients with higher levels of wine consumption were modestly associated with 30% reduction in the risk of death compared with nondrinkers (hazard ratio [HR], 0.70; 95% CI, 0.53-0.94).

In addition, researchers observed a nonsignficant association between higher levels of wine consumption and better colorectal cancer-specific survival (HR, 0.70; 95% CI, 0.48-1.03).

However, there were no associations between prediagnostic beer or liquor consumption and colorectal cancer-specific survival.

Of note, the study does not take into account lifestyle differences between people who regularly consume wine and nonconsumers. For example, people who regularly drink wine may have a healthier diet, perform more physical activity, have a higher degree of education, and have a higher income, all of which may be associated with cancer-specific survival.

These findings, which were ultimately in line with past findings, demonstrate that overall alcohol use was not associated with overall or disease-specific survival.


1. Phipps AI, Robinson JR, Campbell PT, et al. Prediagnostic alcohol consumption and colorectal cancer survival: the Colon Cancer Family Registry. Cancer. 2016 Nov 8. doi: 10.1002/cncr.30446. [Epub ahead of print]