Wine and spirits may increase the risk of lung cancer in those who have never smoked, especially in females

In June 2018 researchers from the USA published the results of their study to assess the effect of alcohol on the risk of lung cancer in those who have never smoked. A total of 438 individuals with confirmed lung cancer (66% with adenocarcinoma; average age 71 years) and 863 controls (average age 66 years) were included in the study. Both groups were made up of individuals who had never smoked.  The effect of alcohol type consumed was considered initially and then the quantity of each alcoholic beverage consumed. All individuals were personally interviewed. Results showed that any type of wine or spirit increased the risk of lung cancer. However, the results for beer consumption were not statistically significant. The results were similar when women were analyzed separately. However, for men no alcoholic beverage appeared to increase the risk of lung cancer. When the amount of alcoholic beverage consumed was taken into consideration, no clear pattern was seen.  However, these results have to be taken with caution given the limitations of the study.

García Lavandeira JA et al. Alcohol consumption and lung cancer risk in never smokers: a pooled analysis of case-control studies. Eur J Public Health. 2018 Jun 1;28(3):521-527

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