Background: The association between facial flushing after alcohol consumption and the risk of cancer remains controversial. The aim of this study was to evaluate the relation between facial flushing and cancer risk.
Methods: PubMed, EMBASE, and Cochrane Library were searched for relevant literature. The patients' baseline characteristics and estimated risks were extracted. Odds ratios (ORs) with 95% confidence intervals (CIs) were pooled to estimate the risk of facial flushing in cancer, and subgroup analysis was performed.
Results: Ten studies with 89,376 participants from East Asia were included. The pooled OR of facial flushing in all cancers was 1.43 (95% CI, 1.08-1.91), with the pooled ORs of 1.94 (95% CI, 1.33-2.83) and 0.95 (95% CI, 0.80-1.12) in men and women, respectively. The pooled ORs were also estimated in different cancer types.
Conclusion: Our results showed that facial flushing response to alcohol was associated with higher cancer risk in men in East Asia, especially in esophageal squamous cell carcinoma, yet facial flushing was not significantly associated with cancer risk among women.