Heavy drinking associated with increased risk of death from pancreatic cancer

Mar 14, 2011

Heavy alcohol consumption, specifically three or more glasses of liquor a day, is associated with an increased risk of death from pancreatic cancer, according to a report in the March 14 issue of Archives of Internal Medicine.

"Alcoholic beverage consumption – a modifiable lifestyle factor – is causally related to several cancers, including oral cavity, pharynx, larynx, esophagus, liver, colorectum and female breast," the authors write as background information in the article. "Heavy causes acute and chronic pancreatitis but has never been linked definitively to ."

Using data from the Cancer Prevention Study II (CPS-II), Susan M. Gapstur, Ph.D., M.P.H., and colleagues from the American Cancer Society, Atlanta, examined the association between alcohol intake and pancreatic cancer. The CPS-II is a long-term prospective study of U.S. adults 30 years and older. 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 percent of men and 62.5 percent 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.

Compared with non-drinkers, consuming three or more drinks of liquor per day was associated with an increased risk of pancreatic cancer death in the total study population, and consumption of two or more drinks of liquor per day was associated with an increased risk in both never smokers and in those who had ever smoked. This association was observed for liquor consumption but not for beer or wine.

In never smokers, there was a 36 percent higher risk of pancreatic cancer death associated with consuming three or more drinks a day compared with non-drinkers for men and women combined. In those who had ever smoked, there was a 16 percent higher risk of death from pancreatic cancer after adjustment for smoking history and other variables.

"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 mortality [death] in the United States," the authors conclude.

Explore further: Cancer: Tumors absorb sugar for mobility

More information: Arch Intern Med. 2011;171[5]:444-451

add to favorites email to friend print save as pdf

Related Stories

Two or more drinks a day may increase pancreatic cancer risk

Mar 03, 2009

Men and women who consume two or more alcoholic drinks a day could increase their risk of developing pancreatic cancer, according to a study published in Cancer Epidemiology, Biomarkers and Prevention, a journal of the Am ...

Soft drink consumption may increase risk of pancreatic cancer

Feb 08, 2010

Consuming two or more soft drinks per week increased the risk of developing pancreatic cancer by nearly twofold compared to individuals who did not consume soft drinks, according to a report in Cancer Epidemiology, Biomarkers & ...

Recommended for you

Cancer: Tumors absorb sugar for mobility

7 hours ago

Cancer cells are gluttons. We have long known that they monopolize large amounts of sugar. More recently, it became clear that some tumor cells are also characterized by a series of features such as mobility or unlikeliness ...

Early hormone therapy may be safe for women's hearts

16 hours ago

(HealthDay)—Healthy women at low risk of cardiovascular disease may be able to take hormone replacement therapy soon after menopause for a short time without harming their hearts, according to a new study.

Low yield for repeat colonoscopy in some patients

17 hours ago

(HealthDay)—Repeat colonoscopies within 10 years are of little benefit to patients who had no polyps found on adequate examination; however, repeat colonoscopies do benefit patients when the baseline examination was compromised, ...

User comments : 0