Objective: To investigate the association between consumption of alcoholic beverages and lung cancer risk.
Methods: Data were collected in two population-based case-control studies, conducted in Montreal (Study I--mid-1980s and Study II--mid-1990s). Study I included 699 cases and 507 controls, all males; Study II included 1094 cases and 1468 controls, males and females. In each study group (Study I men, Study II men and Study II women) odds ratios (OR) were estimated for the associations between beer, wine or spirits consumption and lung cancer, while carefully adjusting for smoking and other covariates. The reference category included abstainers and occasional drinkers.
Results: For Study I men, lung cancer risk increased with the average number of beers/week consumed (for 1-6 beers/week: OR=1.2, 95% confidence interval (CI): 0.9-1.7; for >or=7 beers/week: OR=1.5, 95% CI: 1.1-2.1). For Study II men, beer consumption appeared harmful only among subjects with low fruit and vegetable consumption. In Study II, wine consumers had low lung cancer risk, particularly those reporting 1-6 glasses/week (women: OR=0.3, 95% CI: 0.2-0.4; men: OR=0.6, 95% CI: 0.4-0.8).
Conclusions: Beer consumption increased lung cancer risk, particularly so among men who had relatively low fruit and vegetable consumption. Moderate wine drinkers had decreased lung cancer risk.