Light to moderate drinking of alcoholic beverages does not appear
to increase the risk of lung cancer, according to a study that
involved more than 9,000 people over two generations.
The study, published in the Journal of the National Cancer Institute,
found that people who consume one to two alcoholic drinks a day
have no greater chance of developing lung cancer than do non drinkers.
Data from the study was adjusted so that the effects of smoking,
known to be the major cause of lung cancer, were statistically
eliminated as a factor in the conclusion.
Dr. Luc Djousse of Boston University School of Medicine, the first
author of the study, said his group used data from the famed Framingham,
Mass., study that followed the health of thousands of participants
since 1948. The research also includes data from the Framingham
Offspring Study, which started in 1971 and involves children of
the original study participants.
For the lung cancer study, Djousse and his co-authors examined
health and survey data from 4,265 subjects in the original Framingham
study, and 4,973 from the offspring study.
Researchers found 269 cases of lung cancer among the study participants.
They were matched by age, gender and smoking history with participants
who were not diagnosed with lung cancer. The researchers then
compared the drinking habits of the group and concluded that light
to moderate alcohol consumption was not a factor in the cancers.
Djousse found that the subcategory offspring who drank more than
two drinks (12g) a day showed an increased risk of lung cancer.
The incidence of cancer in this group was double that of the nondrinkers
of the same age, smoking history and gender.
SOURCE: Djoussé L et al. Alcohol Consumption and Risk of Lung
Cancer: The Framingham Study. J Natl Cancer Inst 2002;94:1877-82.