First author of the abstract, Xuesong Han, claimed their findings would need to be replicated before any public health recommendations are made, but the evidence is becoming more apparent that moderate consumption of wine has numerous health benefits.
According to Han, “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. However, we are continually seeing a link between wine and positive outcomes in many cancers.”
This study was the first to examine the link between wine and patients with non-Hodgkin’s lymphoma. Han and other researchers analyzed data collected from about 550 women with non-Hodgkin’s lymphoma.
They discovered that those who drank wine had a 76 percent five-year survival compared with 68 percent for non-wine drinkers. Further research found five-year, disease-free survival was 70 percent among those who drank win compared to just 65 percent among non-drinkers. Beer and/or liquor consumption did not show any noticeable benefits.
The research team also examined subgroups of lymphoma patients; they found the strongest connection between wine consumption and favorable outcomes among patients with diffuse large B-cell lymphoma. These patients had a 40 to 50 percent reduced risk of death, relapse or secondary cancer
Han and colleagues then conducted an analysis to examine the effect of wine consumption among women who had drunk wine for at least the previous 25 years before diagnosis. Non-Hodgkin’s lymphoma patients who had been drinking wine for at least this long had a 25 to 35 percent reduced risk of death, relapse or secondary cancer.
The non-Hodgkin’s lymphoma patients with large B-cell lymphoma had about 60 percent reduced risk of death, relapse or secondary cancer if they had been drinking wine for at least the previous 25 years before diagnosis.
Han concludes, “It is clear that lifestyle factors like alcohol can affect outcome.”