Interactive effects of lifetime alcohol consumption and alcohol and aldehyde dehydrogenase polymorphisms on esophageal cancer risks

Int J Cancer. 2006 Dec 15;119(12):2827-31. doi: 10.1002/ijc.22199.


In our previous study, we found that polymorphisms of alcohol and aldehyde dehydrogenase (ADH1B and ALDH2) are important risks for esophageal squamous cell carcinoma in a Taiwanese population. In this study, we increased the sample size to investigate the modifying effect of lifetime alcohol consumption on the association between ADH1B and ALDH2 genotypes and the risks of esophageal cancer. A multicenter hospital-based case-control study was conducted between August 2000 and June 2004. Three hundred and thirty newly-diagnosed esophageal squamous cell carcinoma patients and 592 controls were recruited from National Taiwan University Hospital in Taipei and Kaohsiung Veterans General Hospital and Kaohsiung Medical University Hospital in Kaohsiung, Taiwan. Controls were matched to the case patients by gender and age within 4 years (case:control = 1:1-4). Polymorphisms of ADH1B and ALDH2 were genotyped by the method of PCR-RFLP. Individuals with ADH1B*1/*1 genotype had a 3.99-fold risk (95% CI = 2.13-7.48) of developing esophageal cancer, compared with those with ADH1B*2/*2 genotype, after adjusted for appropriate covariates. Individuals with ALDH2*1/*2 and ALDH2*2/*2 had 4.99-fold risk (95% CI = 3.11-7.99) and 4.24-fold risk (95% CI = 1.52-11.84), respectively, of developing esophageal cancer, compared with those with ALDH2*1/*1, after adjusted for appropriate covariates. We also found a modifying effect of lifetime alcoholic consumption on the association between genotypes of ADH1B and ALDH2 on esophageal cancer risk. These results suggest that ADH1B and ALDH2 polymorphisms play a pivotal role on esophageal cancer and that the effect of these polymorphisms was modified by the amount of alcohol consumed.

Publication types

  • Multicenter Study
  • Research Support, Non-U.S. Gov't

MeSH terms

  • Adult
  • Alcohol Dehydrogenase / genetics*
  • Alcohol Drinking / adverse effects*
  • Aldehyde Dehydrogenase / genetics*
  • Alleles
  • Case-Control Studies
  • Esophageal Neoplasms / enzymology
  • Esophageal Neoplasms / etiology
  • Esophageal Neoplasms / genetics*
  • Gene Frequency
  • Genotype
  • Humans
  • Linkage Disequilibrium
  • Logistic Models
  • Male
  • Middle Aged
  • Multivariate Analysis
  • Polymorphism, Genetic / genetics*
  • Risk Factors
  • Time Factors


  • Alcohol Dehydrogenase
  • Aldehyde Dehydrogenase