Researchers at Stockholm's Karolinska Institute looked at the link between consumption of various types of alcoholic drink and the risk of developing kidney cancer.
The study, published in the British Journal of Cancer, looked at 855 people with kidney cancer and a control group of 1,204 people who did not have cancer. They reported on their intake of beer, wine, fortified wine and spirits.
The researchers, led by Professor Alicja Wolk, found that the risk of developing kidney cancer was 40 percent lower for people who consumed 620 grammes of alcohol a month, compared with those who did not drink at all. They found that the risk was reduced in people who drank more than two glasses of red wine a week, or comparable amounts of white wine or normal-strength beer.
Consumption of weaker beers, fortified wines and spirits was not linked to a reduced risk of cancer, they found.
The scientists believe that the connection between alcohol and the reduced risk of kidney cancer could be due to the presence in some drinks of antioxidants and antimutagenics.