Alcohol consumption and risk of gastric cardia adenocarcinoma and gastric noncardia adenocarcinoma: A 16-year prospective analysis from the NIH-AARP diet and health cohort

Int J Cancer. 2018 Dec 1;143(11):2749-2757. doi: 10.1002/ijc.31740. Epub 2018 Oct 9.


The role of alcoholic beverages in the etiology of gastric cancer is unclear. Recent summaries showed a positive association between higher alcohol intake and gastric cancer risk, but the magnitude of association is small, there is moderate heterogeneity among studies, and most cases were from Asian populations. We prospectively investigated the associations of alcohol consumption with gastric cardia adenocarcinoma (GCA) and gastric noncardia adenocarcinoma (GNCA) in 490,605 adults, aged 50-71 years at baseline who participated in the NIH-AARP diet and health study. Alcohol consumption in the past year was assessed at baseline by questionnaire and defined as total grams of ethanol intake per day or as a categorical variable: nondrinker, up to or including one drink per day, one to three drinks per day and greater than three drinks per day. We used multivariable-adjusted Cox proportional hazards regression to calculate the hazard ratios (HR) and 95% confidence intervals (CI) for associations between alcohol intake and risk of gastric adenocarcinomas. Through 2011, 662 incident cases of GCA and 713 of GNCA occurred. We found no association between higher alcohol consumption and GCA or GNCA, when examined as total alcoholic beverage intake or individual beverage types of beer, wine and liquor. Furthermore, we observed no association by stratum of sex, ethnic group, educational level or smoking status. We did, however, observe lower risk of GNCA among participants who drank up to one drink per day (HR = 0.81, 95% CI: 0.67-0.97) compared to nondrinkers. In conclusion, alcohol consumption was not associated with increased risk of GCA or GNCA in this large U.S. cohort.

Keywords: NIH-AARP; alcohol; gastric cardia adenocarcinoma; gastric noncardia adenocarcinoma; prospective analysis.

Publication types

  • Research Support, N.I.H., Intramural

MeSH terms

  • Adenocarcinoma / etiology*
  • Adenocarcinoma / pathology
  • Aged
  • Alcohol Drinking / adverse effects*
  • Cardia / pathology*
  • Diet / adverse effects
  • Female
  • Humans
  • Male
  • Middle Aged
  • Proportional Hazards Models
  • Prospective Studies
  • Risk Factors
  • Stomach Neoplasms / etiology*
  • Stomach Neoplasms / pathology
  • Surveys and Questionnaires