Drinking Alcohol and Risk of Dying from Cancer
It is known that heavy alcohol drinking is associated with increased risk of developing cancer of the mouth, pharynx, larynx, and that moderate drinking has been associated with a slight increase in the risk of breast cancer. On the other hand, it is also known that moderate drinking is associated with reduced risk of developing thyroid cancer, lymphoma, kidney (renal) cancer, and certain other cancers.
This study conducted a meta-analysis of 18 prospective cohort studies and, based on the nearly 50,000 deaths that occurred over time, found that
- light drinkers, (those who consumed up to about one drink per day), had a 9% reduced risk of dying from any type of cancer than did non-drinkers or occasional drinkers.
- Moderate drinkers, (those who consumed up to about four and one-third drinks per day), had no increased risk of death from cancer
- Heavy drinkers, (those who drank over about four and one-third drinks per day), had an increased risk of dying from cancer.
This study found a significant reduction in all-cancer mortality among light drinkers with no adverse effects on such deaths among moderate drinkers (those consuming up to about four and one-third drinks per day).
- Jin, M. et al. Alcohol drinking and all-cancer mortality: a meta-analysis. Annals of /Oncology, 2013, 24, 807-816.
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