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Eur J Cancer B Oral Oncol. 1995 May;31B(3):181-7.

Alcohol, tobacco, diet and the risk of oral cancer: a pooled analysis of three case-control studies.

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Division of Epidemiology and Biostatistics, European Institute of Oncology, Milan, Italy.


This combined analysis of data from three large case-control studies of oral cancer confirms the important effect of tobacco in the aetiology of the disease. The studies have been conducted in the United States, Italy and China and results for risks associated with tobacco smoking were generally consistent across centres, while those for alcohol were not; increased risks amongst alcohol drinkers were evident in two centres but not in the study conducted in Turin, Italy. In addition, the combined analysis had large enough numbers to analyse the risk of tobacco consumption in non-drinkers. In females these showed increased risks while in males the effect of tobacco alone was weaker. Given the popularity of tobacco smoking, and its consequent high attributable risk in terms of oral cancer it is reassuring, in terms of public health, that cessation will result in a substantial reduction in risk; a 30% reduction in risk for those stopping smoking between 1 and 9 years, and a 50% reduction for those stopping more than 9 years. Although encouraging smokers to stop should be the principal aim, decreases in risk for everyone could be achieved by encouraging high fruit and vegetable consumption.

[Indexed for MEDLINE]

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