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Proportion of Cancer Cases, Deaths Due to Alcohol Intake Quantified

FRIDAY, Jan. 29, 2021 -- In all states, alcohol consumption accounts for a large proportion of incident cancer cases and cancer deaths, according to a study published in the April issue of Cancer Epidemiology.

Ann Goding Sauer, M.S.P.H., from the American Cancer Society in Atlanta, and colleagues obtained age-, sex-, and state-specific cancer incidence and mortality data (2013 to 2016) from the U.S. Cancer Statistics database. The proportion of incident cancer cases and cancer deaths attributable to alcohol consumption was examined by sex among adults aged 30 years and older in all 50 states and the District of Columbia.

The researchers observed variation in the proportion of incident cancer cases attributable to alcohol: from 2.9 percent in Utah to 6.7 percent in Delaware among men and women combined; from 2.7 percent in Utah to 6.3 percent in Hawaii for men; and from 2.7 percent in Utah to 7.7 percent in Delaware among women. There was considerable variation across states in the proportion of alcohol-attributable cancer deaths: from 1.9 to 4.5 percent among men and women combined; from 2.1 to 5 percent among men; and from 1.4 to 4.4 percent among women. Each year, alcohol consumption accounted for 75,199 cancer cases and 18,947 cancer deaths nationally.

"Alcohol accounted for a considerable proportion of cancer incidence and mortality in all states. Alcohol-associated cancer burden could be reduced by implementing state-level cancer prevention and control efforts to reduce alcohol consumption," the authors write.

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