Authors of a study published in the International Journal of Cancer state that “Because studies of the association between alcohol intake and the risk of primary liver cancer use varying cut-off points to classify alcohol intake, it is difficult to precisely quantify this association by meta-analysis of published data. Furthermore, there are limited data for women in prospective studies of the dose-specific relation of alcohol intake and the risk of primary liver cancer”.
The researchers analysed original data from 4 population-based prospective cohort studies encompassing 174,719 participants (89,863 men and 84,856 women).
During 1,964,136 person-years of follow-up, 804 primary liver cancer cases (605 men and 199 women) were identified. In male drinkers, the multivariate-adjusted HRs (95% CI) for alcohol intakes of 0.1-22.9, 23.0-45.9, 46.0-68.9, 69.0-91.9 and ≥92.0 g/day, as compared to occasional drinkers, were 0.88, 1.06), 1.07, 1.76 and 1.66, respectively.
In women, the authors observed an increased risk among those who drank more that 23g/day ( 3 UK units) as compared to occasional drinkers (HR: 3.60; 95% CI: 1.22-10.66). This pooled analysis of data from large prospective studies in Japan indicates that avoidance of (1) heavy alcohol drinking (more that 69g alcohol/day or 8 uk units) in men and (2) above the UK recommended daily guidelines for women (above 23 g alcohol/day) in women may reduce the risk of primary liver cancer.
Source: Alcohol drinking and primary liver cancer: A pooled analysis of four Japanese cohort studies. Shimazu, Taichi et al. International Journal of Cancer, Volume 130, Number 11, 1 June 2012 , pp. 2645-2653(9)