Alcohol consumption contributed to 4.8% of all United States cancer cases and 3.2% of cancer deaths – translating to 75,199 cases and 18,947 deaths between 2013 and 2016 – according to a study conducted by American Cancer Societyresearchers.
The study was published in the journal Cancer Epidemiology on 19 January 2021, writes Erica Carbajal for Becker’s Hospital Review.
Researchers conducted the study using data from the US Cancer Statistics database.
It found that the proportion of cancer cases attributable to alcohol consumption varies by US state, ranging from 2.9% in Utah to 6.9% in Delaware. Utah and Delaware also had the lowest and highest proportion of alcohol-related cancer deaths at 1.9% and 4.5%, respectively. Proportions were generally lower in Midwestern and Southern states.
The proportion of alcohol-related cancers was greatest for oral cavity/pharyngeal cancer cases.
“This information is important for prioritising state-level cancer prevention and control efforts to reduce alcohol consumption and the burden of alcohol-related cancers," said study author Dr Farhad Islami.
Proportion of cancer cases and deaths attributable to alcohol consumption by US state, 2013-2016
Ann Goding Sauer, Stacey A Fedewa, Priti Bandi, Adair K Minihan, Michal Stoklosa, Jeffrey Drope, Susan M Gapstur, Ahmedin Jemal and Farhad Islami.
Affiliations: American Cancer Society and the School of Public Health at University of Illinois at Chicago.
To be published in Cancer Epidemiology, Volume 71, Part April, in April 2021
Alcohol consumption is an established risk factor for several cancer types, but there are no contemporary published estimates of the state-level burden of cancer attributed to alcoholic beverage consumption.
Such estimates are needed to inform public policy and cancer control efforts. We estimated the proportion and number of incident cancer cases and cancer deaths attributable to alcohol consumption by sex in adults aged ≥30 years in all 50 states and the District of Columbia in 2013–2016.
Age-, sex- and state-specific cancer incidence and mortality data (2013–2016) were obtained from the US Cancer Statistics database. State-level, self-reported age and sex stratified alcohol consumption prevalence was estimated using the 2003-2006 Behavioral Risk Factor Surveillance System surveys and adjusted with state sales data.
The proportion of alcohol-attributable incident cancer cases ranged from 2.9 % (95 % confidence interval: 2.7 %–3.1 %) in Utah to 6.7 % (6.4 %–7.0 %) in Delaware among men and women combined, from 2.7 % (2.5 %–3.0 %) in Utah to 6.3 % (5.9 %–6.7 %) in Hawaii among men, and from 2.7 % (2.4 %–3.0 %) in Utah to 7.7 % (7.2 %–8.3 %) in Delaware among women.
The proportion of alcohol-attributable cancer deaths also varied considerably across states: from 1.9 % to 4.5 % among men and women combined, from 2.1% to 5.0% among men, and from 1.4 % to 4.4 % among women. Nationally, alcohol consumption accounted for 75,199 cancer cases and 18,947 cancer deaths annually.
Alcohol consumption accounts for a considerable proportion of cancer incidence and mortality in all states. Implementing state-level policies and cancer control efforts to reduce alcohol consumption could reduce this cancer burden.
Becker’s Hospital Review story – Alcohol consumption associated with nearly 5% of US cancer cases (Open Access)
Cancer Epidemiology journal article – Proportion of cancer cases and deaths attributable to alcohol consumption by US state, 2013-2016 (Subscription required)
See also from MedicalBrief’s archivesLink between alcohol and 7 cancers is ‘strongly causal’