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




Since ancient times, people have attributed a variety of health benefits to moderate consumption of fermented beverages such as wine and beer, often without any scientific basis. There is evidence that excessive or binge alcohol consumption is associated with increased morbidity and mortality, as well as with work related and traffic accidents. On the contrary, at the moment, several epidemiological studies have suggested that moderate consumption of alcohol reduces overall mortality, mainly from coronary diseases. However, there are discrepancies regarding the specific effects of different types of beverages (wine, beer and spirits) on the cardiovascular system and cancer, and also whether the possible protective effects of alcoholic beverages are due to their alcoholic content (ethanol) or to their non-alcoholic components (mainly polyphenols). Epidemiological and clinical studies have pointed out that regular and moderate wine consumption (one to two glasses a day) is associated with decreased incidence of cardiovascular disease (CVD), hypertension, diabetes, and certain types of cancer, including colon, basal cell, ovarian, and prostate carcinoma. Moderate beer consumption has also been associated with these effects, but to a lesser degree, probably because of beer's lower phenolic content. These health benefits have mainly been attributed to an increase in antioxidant capacity, changes in lipid profiles, and the anti-inflammatory effects produced by these alcoholic beverages. This review summarizes the main protective effects on the cardiovascular system and cancer resulting from moderate wine and beer intake due mainly to their common components, alcohol and polyphenols.




06 May 2014 In Cancer




BACKGROUND & AIMS: Alcohol consumption may increase gastroesophageal reflux symptoms, cause damage to the esophageal mucosa, and/or promote carcinogenesis. However, reports about the association between alcohol and reflux esophagitis, Barrett's esophagus, and esophageal adenocarcinoma are conflicting.

METHODS: Information relating to alcohol consumption, at age 21 and 5 years before the interview date, was collected from 230 reflux esophagitis, 224 Barrett's esophagus, and 227 esophageal adenocarcinoma patients and 260 frequency-matched population controls. Logistic regression analyses were used to compare alcohol consumption in the 3 case groups to controls with adjustment for potential confounders.

RESULTS: Population controls reporting gastroesophageal reflux symptoms were less likely than controls without symptoms to drink alcohol 5 years before the interview date (odds ratio [OR], 0.44, 0.20-0.99). No associations were observed between total alcohol consumption 5 years before the interview date and reflux esophagitis, Barrett's esophagus, or esophageal adenocarcinoma (OR, 1.26, 0.78-2.05; OR, 0.72, 0.43-1.21; and OR, 0.75, 0.46-1.22, respectively). Wine was inversely associated with reflux esophagitis (OR, 0.45, 0.27-0.75). Total alcohol consumption at age 21 years was significantly associated with reflux esophagitis (OR, 2.24, 1.35-3.74) but not with Barrett's esophagus or esophageal adenocarcinoma (OR, 1.06, 0.63-1.79 and OR, 1.27, 0.77-2.10, respectively).

CONCLUSIONS: Alcohol consumption in early adulthood may lead to the development of reflux esophagitis. More recent alcohol consumption does not appear to confer any increased risk of reflux esophagitis, Barrett's esophagus, or esophageal adenocarcinoma. In fact, wine consumption may reduce the risk of these 3 esophageal disorders.




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.




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