Association Between Alcohol Consumption and Risk of Pancreatic Cancer: The Japan Public Health Center-Based Prospective Study

Cancer Epidemiol Biomarkers Prev. 2022 Nov 2;31(11):2011-2019. doi: 10.1158/1055-9965.EPI-22-0216.

Abstract

Background: Several studies have investigated the association between alcohol consumption and pancreatic cancer risk. However, these studies reported inconsistent results.

Methods: This study included 95,812 participants from the Japan Public Health Center-Based Prospective Study, whose alcohol drinking habit was collected through the questionnaire of the baseline survey in 1990 to 1994 for Cohort I and in 1993 to 1995 for Cohort II, and followed-up until December 2013. The hazard ratios (HR) and 95% confidence intervals (CI) were calculated using multivariable-adjusted Cox proportional hazard regression models.

Results: During 1,969,101 person-years of follow-up, 598 patients (315 men and 283 women) were newly diagnosed with pancreatic cancer. No association was observed between alcohol consumption at baseline and pancreatic cancer risk in either men or women, even in the analyses conducted among men stratified by facial flushing responses or smoking status. When the population was limited to men whose alcohol drinking habit remained unchanged from the baseline survey to the 5-year follow-up survey, a significant association was observed in drinkers with alcohol consumption of 1 to 299 g/week compared with non/occasional drinkers (multivariable-adjusted HR, 1.73; 95% CI, 1.15-2.60).

Conclusions: A significant association between alcohol consumption and pancreatic cancer risk was observed when the population was limited to men with a 5-year unchanged alcohol drinking habit and was particularly strong in never smokers.

Impact: This study suggested an association between continuous alcohol consumption and pancreatic cancer risk in the Japanese population. However, further investigations using other cohort studies are required.

Publication types

  • Research Support, Non-U.S. Gov't

MeSH terms

  • Alcohol Drinking / epidemiology
  • Female
  • Humans
  • Japan / epidemiology
  • Male
  • Pancreatic Neoplasms*
  • Proportional Hazards Models
  • Prospective Studies
  • Public Health*
  • Risk Factors