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Home News and Update Year 2011 Heavy Drinking ups Death Risk from Cancer

Heavy Drinking ups Death Risk from Cancer

Times of India
15 March 2011

Heavy drinking ups death risk from cancer (Thinkstock photos/Getty Images)Heavy drinking ups death risk from cancer (Thinkstock photos/Getty Images)
A study has indicated that heavy alcohol consumption, specifically three or more glasses of liquor a day, is associated with an increased risk of death from pancreatic cancer.

"Alcoholic beverage consumption – a modifiable lifestyle factor – is causally related to several cancers, including oral cavity, pharynx, larynx, esophagus, liver, colorectum and female breast.

Heavy alcohol consumption causes acute and chronic pancreatitis but has never been linked definitively to pancreatic cancer," wrote the authors.

Using data from the Cancer Prevention Study II (CPS-II), Susan M. Gapstur, and colleagues from the American Cancer Society, Atlanta, examined the association between alcohol intake and pancreatic cancer.

Initial data on alcohol consumption was gathered in 1982, and based on follow-up through 2006, there were 6,847 pancreatic cancer deaths among one million participants.

Of the million participants (453,770 men and 576,697 women), 45.7 per cent of men and 62.5 per cent of women were non-drinkers. The analyses of men only and of men and women combined showed statistically significant increased risk of pancreatic cancer death for consumption of three drinks per day and four or more drinks per day, whereas for women only the estimated risk of death from pancreatic cancer was statistically significant for consumption of four or more drinks per day.

"Findings from the prospective study presented herein strongly support the hypothesis that alcohol consumption, in particular heavy intake, also is an independent risk factor for pancreatic cancer, the fourth most common cause of cancer mortality (death) in the United States," the authors concluded.

The study has been published in the Archives of Internal Medicine , one of the JAMA/Archives journals.

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