Objective: We analyzed the pooled case-control data from the International Head and Neck Cancer Epidemiology (INHANCE) consortium to compare cigarette smoking and alcohol consumption risk factors for head and neck cancer between less developed and more developed countries.
Subjects and methods: The location of each study was categorized as either a less developed or more developed country. We compared the risk of overall head and neck cancer and cancer of specific anatomic subsites associated with cigarette smoking and alcohol consumption. Additionally, age and sex distribution between categories was compared.
Results: The odds ratios for head and neck cancer sites associated with smoking duration differed between less developed and more developed countries. Smoking greater than 20 years conferred a higher risk for oral cavity and laryngeal cancer in more developed countries, whereas the risk was greater for oropharynx and hypopharynx cancer in less developed countries. Alcohol consumed for more than 20 years conferred a higher risk for oropharynx, hypopharynx, and larynx cancer in less developed countries. The proportion of cases that were young (<45 years) or female differed by country type for some HNC subsites.
Conclusion: These findings suggest the degree of industrialization and economic development affects the relationship between smoking and alcohol with head and neck cancer.
Keywords: INHANCE; alcohol use; head and neck cancer; smoking; socioeconomic status.
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