Latest scientific news 04 December 2013

Only excessive drinking seems to increase the risk of cancer

The findings from this study do not support the notion that any amount of alcohol increases the overall risk of dying from cancer.

Epidemiological studies have suggested an inconsistent association between the consumption of alcoholic beverages and the risk of all cancer mortality. A research team from the School of Public Health at the ZhejiangUniversity in Hangzhou (China) conducted a meta-analysis to explore the impact of alcohol drinking on all cancer mortality. They were able to confirm the health hazards of heavy drinking (> 50 g/day) but were also able to show a small benefit of light drinking (<12.5 g/day) with a risk reduction of 9 %. This study stresses that a significant increase in risk of cancer mortality among the almost 50,000 cancer deaths was found only when consuming 50 g or more of alcohol per day. These results strongly suggest that the overall risk of cancer mortality related to alcohol consumption is primarily due to heavy drinking.

Jin M. Et al. Alcohol drinking and all cancer mortality: a meta-analysis. Ann Onc 2013;24: 807-816.