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Keywords:

  • Occupational activity level;
  • Beer;
  • Family history;
  • Colorectal cancer

The relationships of occupational activity level, drinking habits and family history of cancer to the risk of male colorectal cancer by subsites were investigated in a case-control study involving 1,716 cases with colon cancer, 1,611 cases with rectal cancer and 16,600 controls with other sites of cancer identified from the Aichi Cancer Registry, Japan 1979–1987. An occupation with a low activity level was associated with an increased risk of colorectal cancer; the age-adjusted relative risk (RR) compared to the high activity level group was 1.92 (95% confidence interval (CI): 1.38–2.67) for proximal colon cancer, 1.52 (95% CI: 1.19–1.94) for distal colon cancer and 1.38 (95% CI: 1.17–1.62) for rectal cancer. Beer drinkers showed an increased risk of colorectal cancer; the age-adjusted RR was 1.49 (95% CI: 1.13–1.95) for proximal colon cancer, 1.65 (95% CI: 1.34-2.04) for distal colon cancer and 1.88 (95% CI: 1.62–2.18) for rectal cancer. The RR for family history of colorectal cancer was 3.40 (95% CI: 2.19–5.29) for proximal colon cancer, 2.54 (95% CI: 1.73–3.75) for distal colon cancer and 1.78 (95% CI: 1.28–2.49) for rectal cancer. Multivariate analysis controlled for age, residence, marital status and smoking in addition to occupational activity level, beer drinking and family history of colorectal cancer did not materially change the RRs. When these three variables were combined, the RR was 15.72 (95% CI: 5.40–45.78) for proximal colon cancer, 10.55 (95% CI: 4.24–26.27) for distal colon cancer and 6.69 (95% CI: 3.12–14.36) for rectal cancer.