16 October 2015 In Cancer

BACKGROUND: Breast cancer aetiology may differ by estrogen receptor (ER) status. Associations of alcohol and folate intakes with risk of breast cancer defined by ER status were examined in pooled analyses of the primary data from 20 cohorts.

METHODS: During a maximum of 6-18 years of follow-up of 1 089 273 women, 21 624 ER+ and 5113 ER- breast cancers were identified. Study-specific multivariable relative risks (RRs) were calculated using Cox proportional hazards regression models and then combined using a random-effects model.

RESULTS: Alcohol consumption was positively associated with risk of ER+ and ER- breast cancer. The pooled multivariable RRs (95% confidence intervals) comparing >/= 30 g/d with 0 g/day of alcohol consumption were 1.35 (1.23-1.48) for ER+ and 1.28 (1.10-1.49) for ER- breast cancer (Ptrend /= 0.26). Dietary (from foods only) and total folate intakes were not associated with risk of overall, ER+ and ER- breast cancer; pooled multivariable RRs ranged from 0.98 to 1.02 comparing extreme quintiles. Following-up US studies through only the period before mandatory folic acid fortification did not change the results. The alcohol and folate associations did not vary by tumour subtypes defined by progesterone receptor status.

CONCLUSIONS: Alcohol consumption was positively associated with risk of both ER+ and ER- breast cancer, even among women with high folate intake. Folate intake was not associated with breast cancer risk.

17 September 2015 In Cancer

BACKGROUND: Results from several cohort and case-control studies suggest a protective association between current alcohol intake and risk of thyroid carcinoma, but the epidemiological evidence is not completely consistent and several questions remain unanswered.

METHODS: The association between alcohol consumption at recruitment and over the lifetime and risk of differentiated thyroid carcinoma was examined in the European Prospective Investigation into Cancer and Nutrition. Among 477 263 eligible participants (70% women), 556 (90% women) were diagnosed with differentiated thyroid carcinoma over a mean follow-up of 11 years. Hazard ratios (HRs) and 95% confidence intervals (CIs) were estimated using multivariable Cox proportional hazards models.

RESULTS: Compared with participants consuming 0.1-4.9 g of alcohol per day at recruitment, participants consuming 15 or more grams (approximately 1-1.5 drinks) had a 23% lower risk of differentiated thyroid carcinoma (HR=0.77; 95% CI=0.60-0.98). These findings did not differ greatly when analyses were conducted for lifetime alcohol consumption, although the risk estimates were attenuated and not statistically significant anymore. Similar results were observed by type of alcoholic beverage, by differentiated thyroid carcinoma histology or according to age, sex, smoking status, body mass index and diabetes.

CONCLUSIONS: Our study provides some support to the hypothesis that moderate alcohol consumption may be associated with a lower risk of papillary and follicular thyroid carcinomas.

23 July 2015 In General Health

AIMS: To investigate age, period and cohort effects on time trends of alcohol-related mortality in countries with different drinking habits and alcohol policies.

DESIGN AND SETTING: Age-period-cohort (APC) analyses on alcohol-related mortality were conducted in Denmark, Finland, Norway, Sweden, France and Germany.

PARTICIPANTS: Cases included alcohol-related deaths in the age range 20-84 years between 1980 and 2009.

MEASUREMENTS: Mortality data were taken from national causes of death registries and covered the ICD codes alcoholic psychosis, alcohol use disorders, alcoholic liver disease and toxic effect of alcohol.

FINDINGS: In all countries changes across age, period and cohort were found to be significant for both genders [effect value with confidence interval (CI) shown in Supporting information, Table S1]. Period effects pointed to an increase in alcohol-related mortality in Denmark, Finland and Germany and a slightly decreasing trend in Sweden, while in Norway an inverse U-shaped curve and in France a U-shaped curve was found. Compared with the cohorts born before 1960, the risk of alcohol-related mortality declined substantially in cohorts born in the 1960s and later. Pairwise between-country comparisons revealed more statistically significant differences for period (P < 0.001 for all 15 comparisons by gender) than for age [P < 0.001 in seven (men) and four (women) of 15 comparisons] or cohort [P < 0.01 in two (men) and three (women) of 15 comparisons].

CONCLUSIONS: Strong period effects suggest that temporal changes in alcohol-related mortality in Denmark, Finland, Norway, Sweden, France and Germany between 1980 and 2009 were related to secular differences affecting the whole population and that these effects differed across countries.

15 June 2015 In Cancer

Drinking alcohol and smoking tobacco are major modifiable risk factors for cancer. However, little is known about whether these modifiable factors of cancer survivors are associated with subsequent primary cancer (SPC) incidence, regardless of the first cancer sites. 27,762 eligible cancer survivors diagnosed between 1985 and 2007 were investigated for SPC until the end of 2008, using hospital-based and population-based cancer registries. The association between drinking, smoking and combined drinking and smoking (interaction) at the time of the first cancer diagnosis and incidence of SPCs (i.e., all SPCs, alcohol-related, smoking-related and specific SPCs) was estimated by Poisson regression. Compared with never-drinker/never-smoker, the categories ever-drinker/ever-smoker, current-drinker/current-smoker and heavy-drinker/heavy-smoker had 43-108%, 51-126% and 167-299% higher risk for all, alcohol-related and tobacco-related SPCs, respectively. The interaction of drinking and smoking had significantly high incidence rate ratios (IRRs) for SPCs among ever-drinker/ever-smoker and current-drinker/current-smoker, although ever drinking did not show a significant risk. Ever-drinker/ever-smoker had also significantly higher IRRs for esophageal and lung SPCs than never-drinker/never-smoker. Among comprehensive cancer survivors, ever and current drinkers only had a SPC risk when combined with smoking, while ever and current smokers had a SPC risk regardless of drinking status. Heavy drinking and heavy smoking were considered to be independent additive SPC risk factors. To reduce SPC incidence, it may be necessary (i) to reduce or stop alcohol use, (ii) to stop tobacco smoking and (iii) dual users, especially heavy users, should be treated as a high-risk population for behavioral-change intervention.

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