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.

 

 

 

14 November 2012 In Drinking & Driving
A meta-analysis of 6 studies found that regular drinkers of alcoholic beverages have a reduced coronary heart disease (CHD) risk compared to abstainers while irregular drinkers have an increased risk. This investigation suggests that binge and heavy irregular drinking modify the favourable effect of alcohol intake on CHD risk.
 

OBJECTIVE: To evaluate the strength of the evidence provided by epidemiological literature investigating drinking pattern as effect modifier of alcohol intake on the risk of coronary heart disease (CHD).

DESIGN: Meta-analysis of observational studies.

DATA SOURCES: Medline, citation tracking, from 1966 to 2006. Review methods: Original studies investigating the amount of alcohol intake, combined with the frequency of alcohol consumption and/or pattern of alcohol drinking affecting the risk of CHD were extracted. Among them, cohort and case-control studies reporting sufficient data to perform statistical analyses and using people who abstained from alcohol as the reference were included.

RESULTS: Six (4 cohort and 2 case-control) out of 118 studies reviewed met the inclusion criteria. Compared with those who abstained from alcohol, regular heavy drinkers and heavy irregular or binge drinkers showed significantly different pooled relative risks of 0.75 (95% confidence interval 0.64 to 0.89) and 1.10 (1.03 to 1.17) respectively. The dose-response relation between the amount of alcohol intake and CHD risk was significantly different in regular and irregular drinkers. A J-shaped curve, with nadir around 28 grams of alcohol per week, and last protective dose of 131 grams per week, was obtained including drinkers who consumed alcohol for 2 days a week or less. Conversely, in people who consumed alcohol for more than 2 days a week a significant protective effect was seen even when drinking high amounts of alcohol.

CONCLUSION: This meta-analysis suggests that binge and heavy irregular drinking modify the favourable effect of alcohol intake on the CHD risk. However, this conclusion should be taken with caution because of the small number of studies considered.

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