Alcohol intake patterns for cancer and non-cancer individuals: a population study

Background: Alcohol intake is a leading modifiable cause related to cancer-specific deaths. Various alcohol intake patterns have shown to impact cancer progression differently, however, many studies only evaluated simplified patterns (such as heavy vs. non-heavy drinking) of alcohol intake for cancer survivors. The objective of this study is to provide population-based prevalence of the complex alcohol drinking patterns for cancer survivors, and compare it with that of non-cancer individuals. Additionally, we evaluated the impact of cancer related factors (binary, alcohol-related cancer type, and length of cancer history) to the alcohol intake patterns adjusted for the selected factors. Methods: A total of 193,197 individuals, including 16,504 cancer survivors, with age >/=18 years old in the 2012-2017 National Health Interview Survey (NHIS) were included in this study. The population-based prevalence of alcohol patterns was estimated. To evaluate cancer related factors associated with the alcohol intake patterns, we applied multinomial logistic models with the appropriate sampling weights and adjusted the selected demographic factors and smoking status. Results: There were 62.1% of cancer survivors and 66.0% of non-cancer individuals who were current alcohol drinkers in the past year. The prevalence of heavy drinking was identical for 5.2% of cancer and non-cancer individuals. For frequent binge drinking, cancer survivors tended to have less frequent binge than non-cancer individuals (2.8% vs. 4.9%). After adjusting for the selected demographic factors and smoking status, the cancer survivors were less likely to have the intermediate level of alcohol intake (light/moderate or occasional binge drinking) compared with non-cancer individuals, but no difference for the excessive alcohol intake (heavy or frequent binge drinking) was observed for those with and without cancer. As for cancer type, those with non-alcohol related cancer tended to be a current drinker compared with those with alcohol-related cancer. Compared with cancer survivors with a short cancer history (2-4 years), survivors with a cancer history of 5-9 years were more likely to be current drinkers after adjusting for the selected factors. Cancer status, alcohol-related cancer type and length of cancer history had no impact on excessive alcohol intake.

Conclusions: In summary, cancer survivors have similar excessive alcohol drinking patterns but were less likely to have the intermediate level of alcohol intake compared to non-cancer individuals. Alcohol intake may enhance cancer progression, interfere with cancer treatments and increase cancer-related mortality. To improve cancer survivors' health, custom alcohol interventions and cessation programs should be conducted to minimize alcohol intake for cancer survivors, especially for excessive alcohol drinkers.

Additional Info

  • Authors:

    Lin, H. Y.;Fisher, P.;Harris, D.;Tseng, T. S.

  • Issue: Transl Cancer Res. 2019 Jan;8(Suppl 4):S334-S345. doi: 10.21037/tcr.2019.06.31.
  • Published Date: 2019 Jan
  • More Information:

    For more information about this abstract, please contact
    This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it. at the Deutsche Weinakademie GmbH

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