Risk factors for laryngeal cancer



One hundred seven patients afflicted with incident laryngeal cancer and 290 controls with diseases considered not related to tobacco and alcohol exposure were interviewed in the University Hospital of Montevideo, Uruguay. The study followed a case-referent design, and epidemiologic analysis was carried out at the Louisiana State University, New Orleans. Dark tobacco smoking was the strongest risk factor, with an RR 2.5 times higher than that showed by light (flue-cured) tobacco smokers and 35 times that of non-smokers. Alcohol exposure displayed lesser effects but its interaction with tobacco smoking resulted in very high risks (more than 100 times higher). Among particular types of alcoholic beverages, red wine showed RR's similar to those displayed by hard liquor consumption. The habit of drinking a local tea called “mate” was associated with a threefold increase in risk, after controlling for the effects of age and tobacco and alcohol consumption. Infrequent consumption of vegetables and fruits showed RR on the order of 2.7, suggesting a role of diet in the causation of laryngeal cancer.