Researchers from the Department of Epidemiology at Gillings School of Global Public Health and the University of North Carolina (USA) published an analysis of the North Carolina Colon Cancer Study. They evaluated whether the consumption of alcoholic beverages is associated with distal colorectal cancer and rectal cancer in particular. The results showed that light to moderate alcohol intake (especially wine) was inversely associated with distal colorectal cancer.
The North Carolina Colon Cancer Study is a population-based case-control study of distal colorectal cancer. It encompasses 33 counties in the central and eastern part of North Carolina and includes patients with adenocarcinoma of the rectum, rectosigmoid, and sigmoid colon. Controls were frequency-matched on age, race, and sex.
Demographic and dietary intake data were collected with use of a validated questionnaire. The study included 1033 cases and 1011 controls. Results of the analysis indicate that the odds ratio for rectal cancer comparing any vs no alcohol intake was 0.73 (95% CI 0.60, 0.90), adjusted for age, sex, race, smoking status, obesity, education, red meat intake, use of nonsteroidal anti-inflammatory medications, and family history of colorectal cancer. The odds ratio for moderate alcohol (14 g/day) was 0.93 (95% CI 0.70, 1.23). Moderate beer and wine intakes were also inversely associated with distal colorectal cancer: odds ratios 0.76 (95% CI 0.60, 0.96) and 0.69 (95% CI 0.56, 0.86).
The authors conclude that in this study, moderate alcohol intake (especially wine) was inversely associated with distal colorectal cancer.
Source: Inverse relationship between moderate alcohol intake and rectal cancer: analysis of the North Carolina Colon Cancer Study. Crockett SD, Long MD, Dellon ES, Martin CF, Galanko JA, Sandler RS. Dis Colon Rectum. 2011 Jul;54(7):887-94.