(HONOLULU, HAWAII, OCTOBER 24, 2011) Heavy alcohol consumption may be linked to a greater risk of developing lung cancer, while higher BMI and increased consumption of black tea and fruit are associated with lower risk of the deadly disease. In three separate studies presented at CHEST 2011, the 77th annual meeting of the American College of Chest Physicians (ACCP), heavy alcohol consumption was related to increased risk of lung cancer, while specific ethnic groups, including African American men and Asian women, had slightly higher risks for lung cancer. Conversely, black tea consumption was shown to reduce lung cancer risk in nonsmoking women, while higher BMI and increased fruit consumption were associated with a lower risk of lung cancer in both men and women.
Lung Cancer Risk Factors
Heavy drinking has multiple harmful effects, including cardiovascular complications and increased risk for lung cancer, said Stanton Siu, MD, FCCP, Kaiser Permanente, Oakland, California. We did not see a relationship between moderate drinking and lung cancer development. So it appears probable that most middle-aged and older moderate drinkers have coronary artery protection and no increased risk of lung cancer risk.
Dr. Siu and his research team studied 126,293 people who provided baseline data from 1978 to1985 and followed them until 2008 to determine their risk for developing lung cancer in relation to cigarette smoking, alcohol consumption, gender, ethnicity, BMI, and level of education. Of the 1,852 people who developed lung cancer during this time, results showed that cigarette smoking remained a strong predictor of all types of lung cancer; however, heavy alcohol consumption (> 3 alcoholic drinks per day) also increased lung cancer risk, with a slightly higher risk related to heavy beer consumption as opposed to wine and liquor.
Genetic variations among different ethnic groups could explain the elevated risk for lung cancer. Environmental
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American College of Chest Physicians