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Cancer Causes Control. 1997 Jul;8(4):605-9.

Drinking practices and risk of squamous-cell esophageal cancer among Black and White men in the United States.

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  • 1National Cancer Institute, Bethesda, MD 20892-7368, USA.


To evaluate whether the fivefold greater incidence rate of squamous-cell esophageal cancer in Black compared with White men is due to type of alcoholic beverage consumed or to other qualitative differences in alcohol consumption, we conducted a population-based case-control study with 373 males diagnosed with squamous-cell esophageal cancer (124 Whites and 249 Blacks) and 1,364 male controls (750 Whites and 614 Blacks) from three geographic areas in the United States. Included were all histologically confirmed cases newly diagnosed from 1 August 1986 through 30 April 1989, among White and Black men aged 30 to 79 years. Risks varied to some extent according to type of alcohol used, with beer a stronger contributor in Whites, and wine and liquor stronger contributors in Blacks. However, most of the differences in the odds ratios by type of alcohol and race were eliminated after controlling for average weekly amount of total alcohol consumed. Thus, while alcohol use in all forms is an important risk factor for squamous-cell esophageal cancer in Whites and Blacks, type of alcoholic beverage used does not appear to account for the racial differences in incidence.

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