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Drinking alcohol increases risk for cancer

Consumption of alcohol, including wine, increases the risk of several common cancers, even though many studies confirm a reduced risk of cardiovascular disease from alcohol intake. An article appearing in the Journal of Thrombosis and Haemostasis presents definite evidence of these findings amongst other papers as part of an open forum discussion on wine, alcohol, and cardiovascular risk.

"Moderate alcohol drinking, less than 25 grams per day, has a favorable role on cardiovascular disease risk," states Professor Carlo La Vecchia, co-author of the article. "[However] it is associated with increased risk of cancers of the upper digestive tract and larynx, and also of the intestines, liver, and breast." The article lists primary liver cancer, cancers of the female breast and of the large bowel in both sexes, as being associated with alcohol drinking. Further death from diseases including cirrhosis, chronic pancreatitis, hypertension and stroke are strongly related to alcohol drinking.

The analysis was based on a quantitative review, or meta-analysis, of 156 different studies, and heavy alcohol drinking was strongly linked to the diseases noted. The risks are shown to increase with the amount of alcohol consumed yet the overall evidence does not determine "whether there is any threshold, below which no effect is evident."


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Contact: Sharon Agsalda
medicalnews@bos.blackwellpublishing.net
1-781-388-8507
Blackwell Publishing Ltd.
31-Jan-2005


Page: 1

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