Alcohol intake and risk of colorectal cancer

Park JY, Dahm CC, Keogh RH, Mitrou PN, Cairns BJ, Greenwood DC, Spencer EA, Fentiman IS, Shipley MJ, Brunner EJ, Cade JE, Burley VJ, Mishra GD, Kuh D, Stephen AM, White IR, Luben RN, Mulligan AA, Khaw KT, Rodwell SA. Alcohol intake and risk of colorectal cancer: results from the UK Dietary Cohort Consortium. Br J Cancer. 2010 103: 747-56.

BACKGROUND: Epidemiological studies have suggested that excessive alcohol intake increases colorectal cancer (CRC) risk. However, findings regarding tumour subsites and sex differences have been inconsistent.

METHODS: We investigated the prospective associations between alcohol intake on overall and site- and sex-specific CRC risk. Analyses were conducted on 579 CRC cases and 1996 matched controls nested within the UK Dietary Cohort Consortium using standardised data obtained from food diaries as a main nutritional method and repeated using data from food frequency questionnaire (FFQ).

RESULTS: Compared with individuals in the lightest category of drinkers (>0-<5 g per day), the multivariable odds ratios of CRC were 1.16 (95% confidence interval (95% CI): 0.88, 1.53) for non-drinkers, 0.91 (95% CI: 0.67, 1.24) for drinkers with 5-<15 g per day, 0.90 (95% CI: 0.65, 1.25) for drinkers with 15-<30 g per day, 1.02 (95% CI: 0.66, 1.58) for drinkers with 30-<45 g per day and 1.19 (95% CI: 0.75, 1.91) for drinkers with >or=45 g per day. No clear associations were observed between site-specific CRC risk and alcohol intake in either sex. Analyses using FFQ showed similar results.

CONCLUSION: We found no significantly increased risk of CRC up to 30 g per day of alcohol intake within the UK Dietary Cohort Consortium.

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