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Association of quantity of alcohol and frequency of consumption with cancer mortality
Date:10/20/2011

ow an increase in risk only for drinkers reporting greater amounts of alcohol. The data also show an increase in cancer risk from more frequent drinking among women but not among men. For colorectal, prostate, and breast cancer, there is no clear pattern of an increase in risk from quantity of alcohol consumed. For frequency of drinking, again there is a suggestion of an increase in mortality risk with more frequent drinking, although the trends are not statistically significant.

Heavier drinking (three drinks or more per occasion) is known to be associated with a large number of adverse health effects, including certain cancers, as was shown in this study. When considering cancer, alcohol consumption should not be considered in isolation, but in conjunction with, other lifestyle behaviours (especially smoking when considering lung cancer). We agree with the authors that both quantity and frequency of consumption need to be considered when evaluating the relation of alcohol to cancer; further, beverage-specific effects need to be further evaluated.


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Contact: R. Curtis Ellison
ellison@bu.edu
508-333-1256
Boston University Medical Center
Source:Eurekalert

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