28 September 2023 In Cancer

BACKGROUND: Alcohol consumption has been associated with increased risks of certain site-specific cancers and decreased risks of some other cancers. There is, however, little reliable evidence as to whether the alcohol-associated risks for specific cancers are modified by smoking, body mass index (BMI) and menopausal hormone therapy (MHT) use.

METHODS: In the prospective UK Million Women Study, 1,233,177 postmenopausal women without prior cancer, mean age 56 (SD 5) years, reported their alcohol consumption in median year 1998 (IQR 1998-1999), and were followed by record-linkage for incident cancer. 438,056 women who drank no alcohol or < 1 drink/week were excluded. Cox regression yielded adjusted relative risks (RRs) and 95% confidence intervals (CIs) for 21 cancers by alcohol amount; statistical significance of interactions with smoking, BMI and MHT use was assessed after allowing for multiple testing.

RESULTS: In 795,121 participants, mean consumption was 6.7 (SD 6.4) alcoholic drinks/week. During 17 (SD 5) years of follow-up, 140,203 incident cancers were recorded. There was strong evidence for a substantial association between alcohol intake and risk of upper aero-digestive cancers (oesophageal squamous cell carcinoma, oral cavity, pharynx and larynx; RR per 1 drink/day = 1.38 [95% CI 1.31-1.46]). There was also strong evidence for more moderate positive associations with breast, colorectal and pancreatic cancer (RRs per 1 drink/day = 1.12 [1.10-1.14], 1.10 [1.07-1.13], 1.08 [1.02-1.13] respectively), and moderate negative associations with thyroid cancer, non-Hodgkin's lymphoma, renal cell carcinoma and multiple myeloma (RRs per 1 drink/day = 0.79 [0.70-0.89], 0.91 [0.86-0.95], 0.88 [0.83-0.94], 0.90 [0.84-0.97] respectively). Significant interactions between alcohol and smoking were seen for upper aero-digestive cancers (RRs per 1 drink/day = 1.66 [1.54-1.79], 1.23 [1.11-1.36], 1.12 [1.01-1.25] in current, past, and never smokers respectively). BMI and MHT did not significantly modify any alcohol-associated risks.

CONCLUSIONS: These findings provide robust evidence that greater alcohol intake, even within relatively moderate ranges, increases the risk of cancers of the aerodigestive tract, breast, colorectal and pancreatic cancer, and probably decreases the risk of thyroid cancer, non-Hodgkin's lymphoma, renal cell carcinoma and multiple myeloma. Associations of alcohol intake with cancer risk were not modified by MHT use, adiposity or smoking, except in the case of upper aero-digestive cancers, where the alcohol-associated risk was largely confined to smokers.

27 April 2023 In General Health
Previous cohort studies have reported conflicting associations between alcohol consumption and chronic kidney disease, characterized by proteinuria and low glomerular filtration rate (GFR). This systematic review, which included 14,634,940 participants from 11 cohort studies, assessed a dose-dependent association of alcohol consumption and incidence of proteinuria and low estimated GFR (eGFR) of <60 mL/min/1.73 m(2). Compared with non-drinkers, the incidence of proteinuria was lower in drinkers with alcohol consumption of =12.0 g/day (relative risk 0.87 [95% confidence interval 0.83, 0.92]), but higher in drinkers with alcohol consumption of 36.1-60.0 g/day (1.09 [1.03, 1.15]), suggesting a J-shaped association between alcohol consumption and the incidence of proteinuria. Incidence of low eGFR was lower in drinkers with alcohol consumption of =12.0 and 12.1-36.0 than in non-drinkers (=12.0, 12.1-36.0, and 36.1-60.0 g/day: 0.93 [0.90, 0.95], 0.82 [0.78, 0.86], and 0.89 [0.77, 1.03], respectively), suggesting that drinkers were at lower risk of low eGFR. In conclusion, compared with non-drinkers, mild drinkers were at lower risk of proteinuria and low eGFR, whereas heavy drinkers had a higher risk of proteinuria but a lower risk of low eGFR. The clinical impact of high alcohol consumption should be assessed in well-designed studies.
23 February 2023 In Cancer

BACKGROUND: Incidence of early-onset colorectal cancer (EOCRC; e.g., diagnosed before age 50) in the United States has increased substantially since the 1990s but the underlying reasons remain unclear. METHODS: We examined the ecologic associations between dietary factors and EOCRC incidence in adults aged 25-49 during 1977-2016 in the United States, using negative binomial regression models, accounting for age, period, and race.

The models also incorporated an age-mean centering (AMC) approach to address potential confounding by age. We stratified the analysis by sex and computed incidence rate ratio (IRR) for each study factor. Study factor data (for 18 variables) came from repeated national surveys; EOCRC incidence data came from the Surveillance Epidemiology, and End Results Program. RESULTS: Results suggest that confounding by age on the association with EOCRC likely existed for certain study factors (e.g., calcium intake), and that AMC can alleviate the confounding. EOCRC incidence was positively associated with smoking [IRR (95% confidence interval (CI): 1.17 (1.10-1.24) for men; 1.15 (1.09-1.21) for women] and alcohol consumption [IRR (95% CI), 1.08 (1.04-1.12) for men; 1.08 (1.04-1.11) for women].

No strong associations were found for most other study factors (e.g., fiber and calcium). CONCLUSIONS: Alcohol consumption was positively associated with EOCRC and has increased among young adults since the 1980s, which may have contributed to the EOCRC incidence increases since the 1990s. The AMC approach may help alleviate age confounding in similar ecologic analyses. IMPACT: Increases in alcohol consumption may have contributed to the recent increases in colorectal cancer incidence among young adults. See related commentary by Ni et al., p. 164.

07 February 2023 In Drinking Patterns

Alcohol drinking patterns may determine the risk of hypertension and may also modify the detrimental effect of high alcohol intake. We prospectively evaluated the effect of the Mediterranean alcohol-drinking pattern and its interaction with the amount of alcohol consumed on the incidence of arterial hypertension. In the "Seguimiento Universidad de Navarra" (SUN) cohort, we followed-up 13,805 participants, all of them initially free of hypertension, during a maximum period of 16 years.

Information about diet, chronic diseases, lifestyle and newly diagnosed hypertension was collected using validated questionnaires. We used a 7-item score (0 to 9 points) that jointly considered moderate alcohol consumption, distributed over the week, with meals, and a preference for red wine and avoidance of binge-drinking.

During 142,404 person-years of follow-up, 1443 incident cases of hypertension were identified. Low adherence (score < 2) to the Mediterranean alcohol-drinking pattern was significantly associated with a higher incidence of hypertension (multivariable-adjusted hazard ratio 1.81, 95% confidence interval 1.09-2.99) as compared to the high-adherence (score > 7) category. Among alcohol consumers, a high adherence to the MADP is associated with a lower incidence of hypertension. Compared with abstinence, a high adherence did not seem to differ regarding its effect on hypertension risk.

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