Latest scientific news 11 August 2017

Does consumption of alcoholic beverages lower gastric cancer risk in Europeans and increase risk in Americans?

This meta-analysis showed an overall increased gastric cancer risk when consuming alcoholic beverages, however, the subgroup analysis revealed a protective effect among moderate drinking Europeans.

Chinese scientists performed a meta-analysis (*) to explore the relationship between the consumption of alcoholic beverages and gastric cancer. The analysis included 23 cohort studies and a total of almost 6 million subjects. The results indicated that the consumption of alcoholic beverages increased gastric cancer risk by 17%, compared to alcohol abstinence. However, a subgroup analysis revealed a statistically significant protective effect of moderate alcohol consumption in Europe (a 15 % reduced risk), and a neutral effect in Asia. Thus, the statistically significant harmful effect of alcohol consumption was confined to Americans. The reasons for these differences are not clear.

Han X, Xiao L, Yu Y, et al. Alcohol consumption and gastric cancer risk: a meta-analysis of prospective cohort studies. Oncotarget. 2017 Jul 12. [Epub ahead of print]

For more information about this article, read the scientific abstract here.

(*) Meta-analysisA meta-analysis is a method of summarizing the results of the same research purpose and comprehensiv... is a method of summarizing the results of the same research purpose and comprehensively evaluating its combined effect. It can be an objective, systematic, comprehensive, qualitative and quantitative statistical analysis. It has functions that improve estimates of effect, construct a general review method for omitting inadequate study conclusions, and reinforce the effectiveness of statistical results to yield more comprehensive and reliable study results that are more representative of the general population.