April 22/Press Association Newsfile -- Drinking wine can increase the survival of patients with lymph cancer, new research has suggested.
Scientists who analysed data on 546 women with non-Hodgkin's lymphoma found that wine drinkers had a 76% chance of living five years. This compared with a 68% survival rate for non-wine drinkers.
Further research found that 70% of patients who drank wine and 65% of those who did not lived as long as five years without symptoms.
The strongest link with wine drinking was seen in patients with a form of the disease known as diffuse large B-cell lymphoma. These patients had a 40% to 50% reduced risk of death, relapse, or secondary cancer.
Drinking wine long before diagnosis also made a difference.
Patients who drank wine for at least 25 years before they were diagnosed had a 25-35% reduced risk of death, relapse or secondary cancer compared with those who did not.
Beer and spirits consumption was not found to have the same effect, said the U.S. investigators who presented their findings at the annual meeting of the American Association for Cancer Research in Denver.
The results add to the growing evidence that moderate wine drinking can be beneficial to health.
Study leader Dr Xuesong Han, from the Yale School of Public Health in Connecticut, said, "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.
"It is clear that lifestyle factors like alcohol can affect outcome."
From the April 27, 2009, Prepared Foods E-dition