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Title: Alcohol intake and risk of colorectal cancer: Results from the UK Dietary Cohort Consortium

Authors: J.Y. Park, C.C. Dahm, R.H. Keogh, P.N. Mitrou, B.J. Cairns, D.C. Greenwood, E.A. Spencer, I.S. Fentiman, M.J. Shipley, E.J. Brunner, J.E. Cade, V.J. Burley, G.D. Mishra, D. Kuh, A.M. Stephen, I.R. White, R.N. Luben, A.A. Mulligan, K.-T. Khaw and S.A. Rodwell

Reference: British Journal of Cancer 103(5): 747-756.

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Background: Epidemiological studies have suggested that excessive alcohol intake increases colorectal cancer (CRC) risk. However, findings regarding tumour subsites and sex differences have been inconsistent.

Methods: We investigated the prospective associations between alcohol intake on overall and site- and sex-specific CRC risk. Analyses were conducted on 579 CRC cases and 1996 matched controls nested within the UK Dietary Cohort Consortium using standardised data obtained from food diaries as a main nutritional method and repeated using data from food frequency questionnaire (FFQ).

Results: Compared with individuals in the lightest category of drinkers (>0-<5 g per day), the multivariable odds ratios of CRC were 1.16 (95% confidence interval (95% CI): 0.88, 1.53) for non-drinkers, 0.91 (95% CI: 0.67, 1.24) for drinkers with 5-<15 g per day, 0.90 (95% CI: 0.65, 1.25) for drinkers with 15-<30 g per day, 1.02 (95% CI: 0.66, 1.58) for drinkers with 30-<45 g per day and 1.19 (95% CI: 0.75, 1.91) for drinkers with greater than or equal to 45 g per day. No clear associations were observed between site-specific CRC risk and alcohol intake in either sex. Analyses using FFQ showed similar results.

Conclusion: We found no significantly increased risk of CRC up to 30 g per day of alcohol intake within the UK Dietary Cohort Consortium.

Keywords. Colorectal cancer; alcohol intake; prospective cohort study; food diary; food frequency questionnaire

Acknowledgement. The UK Dietary Cohort Consortium at the MRC Centre for Nutritional Epidemiology in Cancer Prevention and Survival is funded by the Medical Research Council. The cohort studies included in this consortium received funding from the British Heart Foundation; Cancer Research UK; the Department of Health, UK; the Food Standards Agency, UK; the Medical Research Council, UK; the Stroke Association, UK; and the World Cancer Research Fund.

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