06 May 2014 In Cancer




BACKGROUND: The role of alcohol consumption in relation with renal cell carcinoma is still unclear; a few studies have reported a beneficial effect of moderate levels of alcohol consumption, whereas it remains still under debate whether there is a dose-response association.

MATERIALS AND METHODS: Twenty observational studies (4 cohort, 1 pooled and 15 case-control) reporting results on at least three levels of alcohol consumption were selected through a combined search with PubMed and EMBASE of articles published before November 2010. Overall relative risks (RRs) and 95% confidence intervals (CIs) were estimated using random-effects models, and both second-order fractional polynomials and random effect meta-regression models were implemented for the study of dose-risk relation.

RESULTS: The estimated RRs were 0.85 (95% CI: 0.80-0.92) for any alcohol drinking, 0.90 (95% CI: 0.83-0.97) for light drinking (0.01-12.49 g/day), 0.79 (95% CI: 0.71-0.88) for moderate drinking (12.5-49.9 g/day) and 0.89 (95% CI: 0.58-1.39) for heavy drinking (>/=50 g/day), respectively.

CONCLUSION: Our meta-analysis supports the hypothesis of a negative effect of moderate alcohol consumption on the risk of renal cell cancer.




06 May 2014 In Cancer




BACKGROUND: The role of alcohol consumption as an independent risk factor for lung cancer is controversial. Since drinking and smoking are strongly associated, residual confounding by smoking may bias the estimation of alcohol consumption and lung cancer risk relation. Therefore, we undertook a meta-analysis to quantitatively assess the association between alcohol and risk of lung cancer in never smokers.

METHODS: After a literature search in Medline, we included all case-control and cohort studies published up to January 2010 that reported an estimate of the association between alcohol intake and lung cancer risk in never smokers.

RESULTS: We selected 10 articles, including 1913 never smoker lung cancer cases. The random-effects pooled relative risk (RR) for drinkers versus nondrinkers was 1.21 [95% confidence interval (CI) 0.95-1.55]. The same figure was 1.05 (95% CI 0.89-1.23) after the exclusion of one outlier study. At the dose-response analysis, RR for an increase in alcohol intake of 10 g/day was 1.01 (95% CI 0.92-1.10).

CONCLUSIONS: Alcohol consumption was not associated with lung cancer risk in never smokers. Even if the synergistic effect of smoking and alcohol cannot be ruled out, our results suggest that alcohol does not play an independent role in lung cancer etiology.




06 May 2014 In Cancer




BACKGROUND: With the exception of breast cancer, little is known about the effect of moderate intakes of alcohol, or of particular types of alcohol, on cancer risk in women.

METHODS: A total of 1,280,296 middle-aged women in the United Kingdom enrolled in the Million Women Study were routinely followed for incident cancer. Cox regression models were used to calculate adjusted relative risks and 95% confidence intervals (CIs) for 21 site-specific cancers according to amount and type of alcoholic beverage consumed. All statistical tests were two-sided.

RESULTS: A quarter of the cohort reported drinking no alcohol; 98% of drinkers consumed fewer than 21 drinks per week, with drinkers consuming an average of 10 g alcohol (1 drink) per day. During an average 7.2 years of follow-up per woman 68,775 invasive cancers occurred. Increasing alcohol consumption was associated with increased risks of cancers of the oral cavity and pharynx (increase per 10 g/d = 29%, 95% CI = 14% to 45%, Ptrend < .001), esophagus (22%, 95% CI = 8% to 38%, Ptrend = .002), larynx (44%, 95% CI = 10% to 88%, Ptrend = .008), rectum (10%, 95% CI = 2% to 18%, Ptrend = .02), liver (24%, 95% CI = 2% to 51%, Ptrend = .03), breast (12%, 95% CI = 9% to 14%, Ptrend < .001), and total cancer (6%, 95% CI = 4% to 7%, Ptrend < .001). The trends were similar in women who drank wine exclusively and other consumers of alcohol. For cancers of the upper aerodigestive tract, the alcohol-associated risk was confined to current smokers, with little or no effect of alcohol among never and past smokers (P(heterogeneity) < .001). Increasing levels of alcohol consumption were associated with a decreased risk of thyroid cancer (Ptrend = .005), non-Hodgkin lymphoma (Ptrend = .001), and renal cell carcinoma (Ptrend = .03).

CONCLUSIONS: Low to moderate alcohol consumption in women increases the risk of certain cancers. For every additional drink regularly consumed per day, the increase in incidence up to age 75 years per 1000 for women in developed countries is estimated to be about 11 for breast cancer, 1 for cancers of the oral cavity and pharynx, 1 for cancer of the rectum, and 0.7 each for cancers of the esophagus, larynx and liver, giving a total excess of about 15 cancers per 1000 women up to age 75.




14 November 2012 In Drinking & Driving

AIMS: The main objective of this article was to compare alcohol and tobacco consumption in the US and the Basque Country (the North of Spain) with particular attention to the association between alcohol and tobacco use. The consistency of findings was considered by analyzing data from two different years. These comparisons may provide a rational basis for exploring the associations between alcohol and cigarette use that are influenced by changes in use prevalences.

METHODS: Two epidemiological samples from the US, obtained in 1992 and 1996, and two from the Basque Country, obtained in the same years, were used. Sampling methodologies were similar. Questionnaires were self-administrated with the help of interviewers, and were used to define ever smokers, ex-smokers, current smokers, heavy smokers, ever drinkers, ex-drinkers, current drinkers and weekly drinkers. The associations between smoking and alcohol drinking were explored through logistic regressions.

RESULTS: The associations between current smoking and current drinking in the general population, and between ever smoking and weekly drinking among current drinkers appear very stable. In 1992 and 1996, US subjects who decided to try alcohol tended to try smoking and vice versa. In US Caucasians (particularly in 1996), heavy smoking was strongly associated with ever drinking among current smokers. In the Basque Country in 1992, there was a significant association between smoking cessation and drinking cessation among ever drinkers who also were ever smokers.

CONCLUSIONS: Our analyses suggest that some associations between alcohol drinking and smoking behaviours are likely to be detected in Western countries where alcohol and nicotine are legal and easily available. On the other hand, other associations may be detected only in certain social contexts. These social contexts make the associations in subpopulations who are vulnerable to addiction, influence the results in the general population. In social contexts that exert considerable social pressure to quit smoking, such as in US Caucasians (particularly in 1996), heavy smoking was strongly associated with ever drinking among current smokers. When a social environment strongly discourages smoking and alcohol initiation (as in the US in 1992 and 1996), subjects who decide to try alcohol tend to try smoking and vice versa. The lack of social stigmatization of smoking and drinking in the Basque Country in 1992 may help to explain the significant association between smoking cessation and drinking cessation among ever drinkers who also were ever smokers.

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