Study Finds Modest Alcohol Consumption May Increase Risk of Cancer
Over time, excessive alcohol use can lead to the development of high blood pressure, heart disease, stroke, liver disease, and certain cancers. Now a new study suggests that even modest alcohol consumption may increase the risk of cancer by up to 5%.
For their study, the researchers looked at data from 63,232 people with cancer and 63.232 people without cancer. All the participants reported how much they drank on a daily basis, and for how many years they had been drinking. This information was used to determine lifetime alcohol consumption amounts.
When the researchers compared alcohol consumption rates with rates of cancer, they found that cancer risk was lowest at zero alcohol consumption. One drink per day for 10 years, or 2 drinks per day for 5 years was found to increase overall cancer risk by 5%. This increased risk held true for most gastrointestinal, breast, and prostate cancers.
The study was conducted by researchers from the University of Tokyo and the Harvard T. H. Chan School of Public Health. It was published online ahead of print on December 9, 2019 in the journal Cancer.