Teen Drinkers Are at Higher Risk for Worse Prostate Cancer

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Young men between ages 15 and 19 who have an average of seven alcoholic drinks per week have more than three times the risk of developing high-grade prostate cancer later in life compared to adolescent boys who don’t drink, according to a study conducted at the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill.

The researchers analyzed data on 650 men undergoing prostate biopsy at the Durham Veterans Affairs Medical Center in North Carolina between 2007 and 2018. Study participants had no history of prostate cancer, ranged in age from 49 to 89, and were racially diverse (54 percent were non-white). They completed questionnaires about their drinking habits during each decade of life, providing information about the average number of alcoholic drinks they had weekly, and the researchers used this information to determine age-specific and cumulative lifetime alcohol intake.

Results of the study suggest that, while teen drinking isn’t associated with an increase in overall prostate cancer risk, consumption of at least seven drinks per week during adolescence is associated with a 3.2 times higher risk for high-grade prostate cancer. This amount of drinking in other age groups also increases high-grade prostate cancer risk, according to the researchers.

Sourced from: Cancer Prevention Research