Epidemiologic studies have generally reported positive associations between alcohol consumption and risk for colorectal cancer.
In this study, an international team of researchers examined the relationship between alcohol intake and the incidence of colorectal cancer. The team also evaluated whether other potential risk factors alter any association.
|Increased risk for colorectal cancer was associated an alcohol intake of ≥30 g/d.|
|Annals of Internal Medicine|
They pooled primary data from 8 cohort studies in 5 countries.
Overall, the team assessed 489,979 women and men with no history of cancer other than nonmelanoma skin cancer at baseline.
They measured alcohol intake at baseline using a validated food-frequency questionnaire.
During follow-up, 4687 cases of colorectal cancer were documented.
The researchers found that an increased risk for colorectal cancer was limited to persons with an alcohol intake of 30 g per day or greater.
When drinkers were compared with nondrinkers, the team found that the pooled multivariate relative risks were 1.16 for persons who consumed 30 to < 45 g per day and 1.41 for those who consumed 45 g per day or more.
The association was evident for cancer of the proximal colon, distal colon, and rectum.
The team did not find any differences in relative risks for specific alcoholic beverages.
Dr Eunyoung Cho's team concluded, "A single determination of alcohol intake correlated with a modest relative elevation in colorectal cancer rate, mainly at the highest levels of alcohol intake".