Page last updated: June 26, 2018
Cancer and alcohol consumption in people aged 50 years or more in Europe

A study estimated the prevalence of hazardous drinking in individuals aged 50 and older who had or had had cancer in 17 European countries and Israel and to analyse the factors associated with their consumption.

The cross-sectional study was based on data from 2011 to 2013 SHARE surveys with a total of 69,509 individuals aged 50 or more. The prevalence of hazardous drinking in people with cancer was estimated (adapting the SHARE questionnaire to the AUDIT-C). To ascertain whether type of cancer or time since diagnosis were associated with hazardous drinking, Poisson regression models with robust variance were estimated, obtaining prevalence ratios (PR).

Overall, 5.4% of participants reported having been diagnosed with cancer. Prevalence of hazardous drinking in people with cancer was 18% in women and 23% in men. After adjusting for various socioeconomic and health variables, no significant differences were observed between hazardous drinking and type of cancer [PR = 0.99 (95% confidence interval (95% CI) = 0.83-1.17) in people with alcohol-related cancers compared to nonalcohol related cancers] and time since diagnosis [PR = 1.01 (95% CI = 0.82-1.25) in people with a cancer diagnosed >5 years ago compared to those diagnosed ≤5 years ago]. Significant differences were found between hazardous drinking and smoking status and self-perceived health.

Overall, just 20% of people diagnosed with cancer were hazardous drinkers. There were no significant differences in the prevalence of hazardous drinking depending on the type of cancer (alcohol-related versus non-alcohol related cancers). The study found that the highest prevalence of hazardous drinking in people with cancer is found in smokers and people with good self-perceived health.

Source: Alcohol Consumption in People Aged 50 Years or More in Europe. Marina Bosque-Prous, Jenny Mendieta- Paredes, Montse Bartroli, M Teresa Brugal, Albert Espelt. Cancer and, Alcohol and Alcoholism.

https://doi. org/10.1093/alcalc/agx110.
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