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A comparison of gender-linked population cancer risks between alcohol and tobacco: How many cigarettes are there in a bottle of wine?

A comparison of gender-linked population cancer risks between alcohol and tobacco: How many cigarettes are there in a bottle of wine?
A comparison of gender-linked population cancer risks between alcohol and tobacco: How many cigarettes are there in a bottle of wine?

Background: In contrast to our knowledge about the number of cancers attributed to smoking, the number of cancers attributed to alcohol is poorly understood by the public. We estimate the increase in absolute risk of cancer (number of cases per 1000) attributed to moderate levels of alcohol, and compare these to the absolute risk of cancer attributed to low levels of smoking, creating a 'cigarette-equivalent of population cancer harm'. Methods: Alcohol and tobacco attributable fractions were subtracted from lifetime general population risks of developing alcohol- and smoking-related cancers, to estimate the lifetime cancer risk in alcohol-abstaining non-smokers. This was multiplied by the relative risk of drinking ten units of alcohol or smoking ten cigarettes per week, and increasing levels of consumption. Results: One bottle of wine per week is associated with an increased absolute lifetime cancer risk for non-smokers of 1.0% (men) and 1.4% (women). The overall absolute increase in cancer risk for one bottle of wine per week equals that of five (men) or ten cigarettes per week (women). Gender differences result from levels of moderate drinking leading to a 0.8% absolute risk of breast cancer in female non-smokers. Conclusions: One bottle of wine per week is associated with an increased absolute lifetime risk of alcohol-related cancers in women, driven by breast cancer, equivalent to the increased absolute cancer risk associated with ten cigarettes per week. These findings can help communicate that moderate levels of drinking are an important public health risk for women. The risks for men, equivalent to five cigarettes per week, are also of note.

Alcohol, Breast cancer, Cancer, Smoking, Tobacco
1471-2458
Hydes, Theresa J.
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Burton, Robyn
ed1ec000-3292-479f-852c-ec73ef66bd9d
Inskip, Hazel
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Bellis, Mark A.
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Sheron, Nick
cbf852e3-cfaa-43b2-ab99-a954d96069f1
Hydes, Theresa J.
d842d1ec-c64a-4934-a5a2-7316fea65767
Burton, Robyn
ed1ec000-3292-479f-852c-ec73ef66bd9d
Inskip, Hazel
5fb4470a-9379-49b2-a533-9da8e61058b7
Bellis, Mark A.
d6355965-5d9e-41f9-8fd0-93439d6990ec
Sheron, Nick
cbf852e3-cfaa-43b2-ab99-a954d96069f1

Hydes, Theresa J., Burton, Robyn, Inskip, Hazel, Bellis, Mark A. and Sheron, Nick (2019) A comparison of gender-linked population cancer risks between alcohol and tobacco: How many cigarettes are there in a bottle of wine? BMC Public Health, 19 (1). (doi:10.1186/s12889-019-6576-9).

Record type: Article

Abstract

Background: In contrast to our knowledge about the number of cancers attributed to smoking, the number of cancers attributed to alcohol is poorly understood by the public. We estimate the increase in absolute risk of cancer (number of cases per 1000) attributed to moderate levels of alcohol, and compare these to the absolute risk of cancer attributed to low levels of smoking, creating a 'cigarette-equivalent of population cancer harm'. Methods: Alcohol and tobacco attributable fractions were subtracted from lifetime general population risks of developing alcohol- and smoking-related cancers, to estimate the lifetime cancer risk in alcohol-abstaining non-smokers. This was multiplied by the relative risk of drinking ten units of alcohol or smoking ten cigarettes per week, and increasing levels of consumption. Results: One bottle of wine per week is associated with an increased absolute lifetime cancer risk for non-smokers of 1.0% (men) and 1.4% (women). The overall absolute increase in cancer risk for one bottle of wine per week equals that of five (men) or ten cigarettes per week (women). Gender differences result from levels of moderate drinking leading to a 0.8% absolute risk of breast cancer in female non-smokers. Conclusions: One bottle of wine per week is associated with an increased absolute lifetime risk of alcohol-related cancers in women, driven by breast cancer, equivalent to the increased absolute cancer risk associated with ten cigarettes per week. These findings can help communicate that moderate levels of drinking are an important public health risk for women. The risks for men, equivalent to five cigarettes per week, are also of note.

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More information

Accepted/In Press date: 21 February 2019
Published date: 28 March 2019
Keywords: Alcohol, Breast cancer, Cancer, Smoking, Tobacco

Identifiers

Local EPrints ID: 430075
URI: https://eprints.soton.ac.uk/id/eprint/430075
ISSN: 1471-2458
PURE UUID: 140bdbb4-0f5e-48f7-9f37-e4760145ec9e
ORCID for Hazel Inskip: ORCID iD orcid.org/0000-0001-8897-1749
ORCID for Nick Sheron: ORCID iD orcid.org/0000-0001-5232-8292

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Date deposited: 11 Apr 2019 16:30
Last modified: 20 Jul 2019 01:20

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