Tobacco and alcohol and the risk of head and neck cancer

Clin Investig. Mar-Apr 1992;70(3-4):320-7. doi: 10.1007/BF00184668.

Abstract

We carried out two case-control studies on the relative risk of head and neck cancer in association with tobacco and alcohol consumption. The first study carried out at the ENT Department of the University hospitals of Heidelberg and Giessen (FRG) comprised 200 male patients with squamous cell cancer of the head and neck and 800 control subjects matched for sex, age, and residential area (1:4 matching design). Of the tumour patients, 4.5% had never smoked, in contrast to 29.5% of the control group. The average tobacco and alcohol consumption of the patients was approximately twice as high as in the control subjects. The highest alcohol and tobacco consumption was observed in patients suffering from oropharyngeal cancer. Tobacco and alcohol increased the risk of head and neck cancer in a dose-dependent fashion and acted as independent risk factors. In heavy smokers (greater than 60 pack-years) a relative risk of 23.4 (alcohol adjusted) was calculated. Combined alcohol and tobacco consumption showed a synergistic effect. The risk ratio increased more in a multiplicative than in an additive manner. Oral and laryngeal cancer were associated with the highest tobacco-associated risk values. The highest ethanol-associated risk values were associated with oropharyngeal and laryngeal cancer. The second study was carried out at the ENT Department of the University of Heidelberg on 164 males with squamous cell carcinoma of the larynx and 656 control subjects matched for sex, age and residential area (1:4 matching design). Of the cases, 4.2% had never smoked, compared with 28.5% of the control subjects.(ABSTRACT TRUNCATED AT 250 WORDS)

MeSH terms

  • Adult
  • Aged
  • Aged, 80 and over
  • Alcohol Drinking / adverse effects*
  • Carcinoma, Squamous Cell / epidemiology
  • Carcinoma, Squamous Cell / etiology*
  • Case-Control Studies
  • Cocarcinogenesis
  • Germany, West / epidemiology
  • Head and Neck Neoplasms / epidemiology
  • Head and Neck Neoplasms / etiology*
  • Humans
  • Hypopharyngeal Neoplasms / epidemiology
  • Hypopharyngeal Neoplasms / etiology
  • Laryngeal Neoplasms / epidemiology
  • Laryngeal Neoplasms / etiology*
  • Male
  • Middle Aged
  • Mouth Neoplasms / epidemiology
  • Mouth Neoplasms / etiology
  • Pharyngeal Neoplasms / epidemiology
  • Pharyngeal Neoplasms / etiology
  • Risk Factors
  • Smoking / adverse effects*
  • Surveys and Questionnaires
  • Time Factors