Page last updated: May 2011
Heavy spirits drinking might raise risk of death from pancreatic cancer

Spirits drinking with consumption of  42g alcohol or more a per day is associated with increased pancreatic cancer mortality risk independent of smoking, according to the results of a study reported in the March 14 issue of the Archives of Internal Medicine.
In 1982, participants reported on their own alcohol intake using a 4-page questionnaire. Among 1,030,467 participants, there were 6,847 deaths from pancreatic cancer during follow-up through December 31, 2006. Cox proportional hazards regression analysis allowed calculation of multivariable-adjusted relative risks (RRs) and 95% confidence intervals (CIs), after adjustment for age; sex; race/ethnicity; education; marital status; body mass index; family history of pancreatic cancer; and personal history of gallstones, diabetes mellitus, or smoking.
Compared with non-drinkers, current drinkers of <1, 1, 2, 3, and 4 or more drinks per day had RRs for pancreatic cancer mortality of 1.06, 0.99, 1.06,1.25, and 1.17 respectively. Drinking 3 or more drinks (14g) per day was associated with deaths from pancreatic cancer in never-smokers (RR, 1.36) and in ever-smokers (RR, 1.16).
Although this association was observed for spirit consumption (RR, 1.32; 95% CI, 1.10 - 1.57), there was no apparent association with beer drinking (RR, 1.08; 95% CI, 0.90 - 1.30) or wine drinking (RR, 1.09; 95% CI, 0.79 - 1.49).
For women only, the estimated risk for pancreatic cancer mortality was statistically significant for consumption of 4 or more drinks per day.
Source: Association of Alcohol Intake With Pancreatic Cancer Mortality in Never Smokers Susan M. Gapstur, PhD, MPH; Eric J. Jacobs, PhD, MS; Anusila Deka, MPH; Marjorie L. McCullough, ScD, RD; Alpa V. Patel, PhD, MPH; Michael J. Thun, MD, MS. Arch Intern Med. 2011;171(5):444-451. doi:10.1001/archinternmed.2010.53

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