Alcohol use is not a significant contributor to myelodysplastic syndromes

Elizabeth A. Duffy, Phuong L. Nguyen, Adina Cioc, Erica Warlick, Michelle A. Roesler, Jenny N. Poynter

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

1 Scopus citations


Purpose: Myelodysplastic syndromes (MDS) are a class of clonal neoplastic disorders of largely unknown etiology, and published data remain inconclusive regarding the association between lifetime alcohol consumption and MDS risk. In these analyses, data from a population-based case–control study were used to investigate this association. Methods: Eligible cases of MDS were identified through the Minnesota Cancer Reporting System; controls were matched by sex and age-decile. A central review process was used to confirm MDS diagnosis and classify subtypes. Unconditional and polytomous logistic regression were used to calculate odds ratios (OR) and 95% confidence intervals (CI). Kaplan–Meier curves were used to compare survival by category of lifetime alcohol consumption. Results: In total, 398 cases of MDS and 698 controls were included. Alcohol consumption at 23–30, 31–49, and 50–65 years of age, recent consumption 1 year before diagnosis/interview, and lifetime consumption were not found to be significantly associated with MDS in males (OR range 0.63–0.99) or females (OR range 0.58–1.70). Analysis by MDS subtype further suggested there was not a significant association between recent alcohol consumption and odds of disease by subtype (OR range 0.39–1.13). Lifetime alcohol consumption was not significantly associated with survival after diagnosis of MDS Conclusions: Previously reported associations between alcohol consumption and MDS risk were inconsistent. Results from our analyses by sex and disease subtype do not support alcohol as a significant contributor to risk of MDS.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)549-557
Number of pages9
JournalCancer Causes and Control
Issue number6
StatePublished - Jun 1 2020


  • Alcohol
  • Case–control
  • Epidemiology
  • Myelodysplastic syndromes

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Oncology
  • Cancer Research


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