Time characteristics of the effect of alcohol cessation on the risk of stomach cancer – a meta-analysis

BACKGROUND: In the Bagnardi et al. (2001) meta-analysis, it was found that alcohol consumption increases the risk of stomach cancer (OR = 1.32 for heavy drinkers). However, it is unknown if drinking cessation reverses this alcohol-elevated risk. METHODS: A systematic literature review was performed to provide the information for a meta-analysis where the dose-risk trend was estimated for years since drinking cessation and the risk of stomach cancer. A random effect generalised least squares model for trend estimation was used, employing study characteristics to control for heterogeneity. RESULTS: Nineteen observational studies were identified in the literature review, of which five studies quantified duration of cessation and risk of stomach cancer, giving a total of 1947 cancer cases. No significant effect of drinking cessation on the risk of stomach cancer could be found (OR = 0.99 CI: 0.97-1.02). CONCLUSIONS: This result should be interpreted with caution due to the limited number of studies in this area. Recent findings suggest a link between heavy drinking and stomach cancer, especially gastric noncardia, but not for moderate drinking. Since all but one of the included studies in this meta-analysis failed to control for consumption level, the current study could not test if the risk decline following drinking cessation differs between moderate and high consumers.

Additional Info

  • Authors

    Jarl J.; Heckley G.; Brummer J.; Gerdtham U.G.
  • Issue

    BMC.Public Health / pages 600- / volume 13
  • Published Date