Type of alcoholic beverage and cancer of the oral cavity, pharynx and oesophagus in an Italian area with high wine consumption

Authors

  • Salvatore Barra,

    Corresponding author
    1. Epidemiology Unit, Aviano Cancer Center, Via Pedemontana Occ., 33081 Aviano (PN), Italy
    • Epidemiology Unit, Aviano Cancer Center, Via Pedemontana Occ., 33081 Aviano (PN), Italy
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  • Silvia Franceschi,

    1. Epidemiology Unit, Aviano Cancer Center, Via Pedemontana Occ., 33081 Aviano (PN), Italy
    2. Hormones, Sexual Factors and Cancer Group-European Organization for Cooperation in Cancer Prevention Studies (ECP), Brussels, Belgium
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  • Eva Negri,

    1. “Mario Negri” Institute for Pharmacological Research, Via Eritrea 62, 20157 Milan, Italy
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  • Renato Talamini,

    1. Epidemiology Unit, Aviano Cancer Center, Via Pedemontana Occ., 33081 Aviano (PN), Italy
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  • Carlo La Vecchia

    1. “Mario Negri” Institute for Pharmacological Research, Via Eritrea 62, 20157 Milan, Italy
    2. Institute of Social and Preventive Medecine, University of Lausanne, Bugnon 17, 1005 Lausanne, Switzerland
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Abstract

The role of different types of alcoholic beverage on cancer of the upper digestive tract was investigated in a case-control study conducted in the northern part of Italy on 305 male cases of cancer of the oral cavity and pharynx, 288 of oesophageal cancer and 1621 controls admitted to hospital for acute, non-neoplastic conditions, unrelated to alcohol intake. Similar significant trends of risk increase with increasing alcohol intake were seen for cancers of the oral cavity, pharynx and oesophagus independent of type (or types) of beverage consumed. Among the heaviest drinkers (i. e. ≥84 drinks/week) odds ratios (ORs) of cancer of the oral cavity and pharynx for wine only, wine and spirits, and combination of wine, spirits, and beer were 11.2, 9.9 and 4.1, respectively. Corresponding oesophageal cancer ORs were 15.0, 10.0 and 6.0. This study from an area with high wine consumption confirms that wine per se can greatly enhance the risk of cancer of the upper digestive tract and suggests that the most frequently used alcoholic beverage in each study appears to be the most important determinant of these tumours.

Ancillary