Alcohol drinking and colorectal cancer in Japanese: a pooled analysis of results from five cohort studies.

Tetsuya Mizoue, Manami Inoue, Kenji Wakai, Chisato Nagata, Taichi Shimazu, Ichiro Tsuji, Tetsuya Otani, Keitaro Tanaka, Keitaro Matsuo, Akiko Tamakoshi, Shizuka Sasazuki, Shoichiro Tsugane

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96 Citations (Scopus)


Colorectal cancer is an alcohol-related malignancy; however, the association appears to be stronger among Asian populations with a relatively high prevalence of the slow-metabolizing aldehyde dehydrogenase variant. To examine the association between alcohol consumption and colorectal cancer in Japanese, the authors analyzed original data from five cohort studies that measured alcohol intake using validated questionnaires at baseline. Hazard ratios were calculated in the individual studies, with adjustment for a common set of variables, and then combined using a random-effects model. During 2,231,010 person-years of follow-up (ranging variously from 1988 to 2004), 2,802 colorectal cancer cases were identified. In men, multivariate-adjusted pooled hazard ratios for alcohol intakes of 23-45.9 g/day, 46-68.9 g/day, 69-91.9 g/day, and > or =92 g/day, compared with nondrinking, were 1.42 (95% confidence interval (CI): 1.21, 1.66), 1.95 (95% CI: 1.53, 2.49), 2.15 (95% CI: 1.74, 2.64), and 2.96 (95% CI: 2.27, 3.86), respectively (p for trend < 0.001). The association was evident for both the colon and the rectum. A significant positive association was also observed in women. One fourth of colorectal cancer cases in men were attributable to an alcohol intake of > or =23 g/day. An alcohol-colorectal cancer association seems to be more apparent in Japanese than in Western populations. Whether this difference can be ascribed to genetic or environmental factors needs to be clarified.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)1397-1406
Number of pages10
JournalAmerican journal of epidemiology
Issue number12
Publication statusPublished - 2008 Jun 15
Externally publishedYes

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Epidemiology


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