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Cohort study
Light to moderate alcohol intake may be associated with non-minimal cancer risk
  1. Ziming Xuan
  1. Department of Community Health Sciences, Boston University School of Public Health, Boston, Massachusetts, USA
  1. Correspondence to : Dr Ziming Xuan, Department of Community Health Sciences, Boston University School of Public Health, 801 Massachusetts Avenue, Boston, MA 02118, USA; zxuan{at}

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Empirical evidence has linked excessive alcohol consumption to increased risk of various cancers including those of the oral cavity, oesophagus, pharynx, larynx, lungs, female breast, stomach, pancreas, liver, gallbladder and colorectum. A large prospective cohort study followed women for 7 years and found light to moderate drinking of 7–14 drinks/week was associated with increased risk of all cancers (Relative Risk=1.05, 95% CI 1.03 to 1.07).1 However, the associations of all cancers and only alcohol-related cancer with light to moderate drinking (eg, up to 2 drinks/day for men and 1 drink/day for women per US Dietary Guideline) are not as clear in the USA.


To assess the risk of all cancers and all alcohol-related cancers associated with levels of alcohol consumption with a focus on …

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  • Funding National Institute on Alcohol Abuse and Alcoholism (grant number R01AA023376 and R01AA018907).

  • Competing interests None declared.

  • Provenance and peer review Commissioned; internally peer reviewed.