15 april 2021

Are people aware of the link between alcohol and different types of Cancer?

BACKGROUND: Alcohol consumption is causally linked to several different types of cancer, including breast, liver, and colorectal cancer. While prior studies have found low awareness of the overall alcohol-cancer link, few have examined how awareness differs for each type of cancer. Greater awareness of risks associated with alcohol use may be a key factor in reducing alcohol-related cancer incidence.

METHODS: We surveyed 1759 people of legal drinking age at the 2019 Minnesota State Fair. We used multivariable generalized linear models and linear regression models with robust standard errors to investigate factors associated with alcohol-cancer risk awareness. Models were fit examining predictors of overall awareness of alcohol as a risk factor for cancer, and prevalence of awareness of alcohol as a risk factor for specific types of cancer.

RESULTS: Prevalence of awareness varied by cancer type, with awareness of alcohol causing liver cancer having the highest prevalence (92%) and awareness of alcohol causing breast cancer having the lowest prevalence (38%). Factors associated with awareness of alcohol-cancer risk differed by type of cancer.

CONCLUSIONS: In general, awareness of the risk of alcohol for certain types of cancer was low to moderate, reflecting a need to inform people not only that alcohol increases risk of cancer, but which types of cancer are most highly associated alcohol.

Additional Info

  • Authors

    Calvert C. M.; Toomey T.; Jones-Webb R.
  • Issue

    BMC Public Health . 2021 Apr 15;21(1):734
  • Published Date

    15 april 2021