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Br J Cancer. 1980 Jun;41(6):929-40.

Associations between cancer incidence and alcohol/cigarette consumption among five ethnic groups in Hawaii.


The average annual age-adjusted incidence rates of cancer for 15 sites were determined for 10 ethnic-sex groups in Hawaii. Consumption rates for cigarettes, beer, wine and hard liquor were also determined for the same 10 groups based on personal interview of a sample of 9920 individuals. Covariance analysis was used to adjust each exposure variable for the other three, and the cancer incidence rates were then linearly regressed on these covariance-adjusted consumption rates. Statistically significant regression coefficients were found for cancer of the tongue/mouth, pharynx, larynx, pancreas, lung, kidney and bladder regressed on cigarette consumption. Eight cancer sites, including tongue/mouth, pharynx, larynx, oesophagus, stomach, pancreas, lung and kidney, had significant positive regression coefficients for beer consumption which could not be explained by outlying values on the scattergram. Significant associations were also suggested between wine consumption and pharyngeal cancer and between hard-liquor consumption and pharyngeal, laryngeal and possibly brain cancer. No association was found between beer consumption and colorectal cancer. Multiple regression analysis with sex, cigarettes and alcoholic beverage as independent variables consistently found sex to be least important in determining cancer risk. This study supports the hypothesis that beer consumption may play a role in cancer risk for several sites. It is suggested that future studies of alcoholic beverages and cancer should examine not only types of alcoholic beverages, but individual brands of each type in an attempt to identify cancer risk due to carcinogens in only certain brands.

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