Recent studies have reported an association between heavy alcohol drinking and gastric cancer risk, but the issue is still open to discussion and quantification.
A team of researchers investigated the role of alcohol drinking on gastric cancer risk in the “Stomach cancer Pooling (StoP) Project”, a pooled analysis of casecontrol studies. A total of 9,669 cases and 25,336 controls from 20 studies from Europe, Asia and North America were included. Summary odds-ratios (ORs) and the corresponding 95% confidence intervals (CIs) were estimated.
Compared with abstainers, drinkers of up to 4 drinks/ day of alcohol had no increase in gastric cancer risk, while the ORs were 1.26 (95% CI, 1.08-1.48) for heavy (>4 to 6 drinks/day) and 1.48 (95% CI 1.29- 1.70) for very heavy (>6 drinks/day) drinkers. The risk for drinkers of >4 drinks/day was higher in never smokers (OR 1.87, 95% CI 1.35-2.58) as compared to current smokers (OR 1.14, 95% CI 0.93-1.40).
Somewhat stronger associations emerged with heavy drinking in cardia (OR 1.61, 95% CI 1.11-2.34) than in non-cardia (OR 1.28, 95% CI 1.13-1.45) gastric cancers, and in intestinal-type (OR 1.54, 95% CI 1.20- 1.97) than in diffuse-type (OR 1.29, 95% CI 1.05-1.58) cancers. The association was similar in strata of H. pylori infected (OR=1.52, 95% CI 1.16-2.00) and noninfected subjects (OR=1.69, 95% CI 0.95-3.01).
This collaborative pooled-analysis provides definite, more precise quantitative evidence than previously available of an association between very heavy alcohol drinking (over 4 drinks a day) and gastric cancer risk but no association with up to 4 drinks a day.
Source: Consumption and gastric cancer risk - A pooled analysis within the StoP Project Consortium. Rota M, Pelucchi C, Bertuccio P, Matsuo K, et al. Int J Cancer. 2017 Jul 18. doi: 10.1002/ijc.30891.