Call Us : +41 22 738 18 48

Melanoma Risk And Alcohol Consumption (For Professionals)

Alcohol consumption is linked to many skin problems (click HERE for manifestations of alcohol on the skin). However this study brings a new association: Melanoma.

In this study using statistics (retrospective) the authors documented 1385 patients with invasive melanoma and 750 patients with melanoma in situ who were all followed for an average of 19 years.

Age, body mass index (BMI), smoking status, sun sensitivity, average UVB flux at place of residence, number of severe sunburns, number of nevi, natural hair color, and family history were taken into account.

Results showed  that total alcohol intake was associated with risk of invasive melanoma (RR 1.11, 95% CI: 1.00–1.24, p= 0.04), but was not significantly associated with melanoma in situ (RR 1.16, 95% CI: 0.91–1.50, p= 0.23).

The type of alcoholic beverage was also taken into account:

  • increased risk of invasive melanoma associated with white wine (RR 1.34, 95% CI: 1.11–1.62, p=0.002) and with non-light beer (RR 1.31, 95% CI: 1.05–1.64, p=0.02) after adjusting for total alcohol intake.
  • although there was a trend, there was no statistical significancer with white wine and non-light beer
  • Light beer, red wine, and liquor consumption were not associated with either invasive melanoma or melanoma in situ risk.
  • Age, smoking history, caffeine intake, physical activity, hair color, or BMI had no influence.



  • Conclusion:  possible  association between alcohol intake and risk of melanoma, depending on beverage type



  • Comments:
    • It is an interesting observation which shows that melanoma risk could be heightened with alcohol intake. It would be interesting to see:
    1. whether the % of alcohol would have a proportional increase in the risk of melanoma
    2. whether like in Ear-Nose Throat (ENT) cancers, alcohol intake would have an additive effect or multiplying effect with other risk factors (as the multiplying effect og toboacco and alcohol in ENT cancers)
    • A prospective study could confirm this analysis



Source of Information: AR Rivera,1 J Han,2,3,4 TY Li2 and AA Qureshi2,3 1Harvard Medical School, Boston, MA, 2Channing Laboratory, Department of Medicine, Brigham and Women’s Hospital, Harvard Medical School, Boston, MA, 3Department of Dermatology, Brigham and Women’s Hospital, Boston, MA and 4Department of Epidemiology, Harvard School of Public Health, Boston, MA. Alcohol intake and risk of incident melanoma: A prospective study. International Investigative Dermatology (IID) 2013 – Edinburgh, United Kingdom (UK).

Source of information: here