Interaction Between Alcohol Drinking and Obesity in Relation to Colorectal Cancer Risk: a Case-control Study in Newfoundland and Labrador

Lay Summary 

Background:
While substantive epidemiological literature suggests that alcohol drinking and obesity are potential risk factors of colorectal cancer (CRC), the possible interaction between the two has not been adequately explored. We used a case-control study to examine if alcohol drinking is associated with an increased risk of CRC and if such risk differs in people with and without obesity.

Conclusion:
The effect of alcohol of drinking on CRC seems to be modified by obesity.

Results:
Among obese participants (BMI [greater than or equal to] 30), alcohol was associated with higher risk of CRC (OR: 2.2; 95% CI: 1.2-4.0) relative to the non-alcohol category. Among obese individuals, 3 or more different types of drinks were associated with a 3.4-fold higher risk of CRC relative to non-drinkers. The risk of CRC also increased with drinking years and drinks daily among obese participants. However, no increased risk was observed in people without obesity.

Methods:
Newly diagnosed CRC cases were identified between 1999 and 2003 in Newfoundland and Labrador (NL). Cases were frequency-matched by age and sex with controls selected using random digit dialing. Cases (702) and controls (717) completed self-administered questionnaires assessing health and lifestyle variables. Estimates of alcohol intake included types of beverage, years of drinking, and average number of alcohol drinks per day. Odds ratios were estimated to investigate the associations of alcohol independently and when stratified by obesity status on the risk of CRC.

BMC Public Health 2012 Feb 1; 12(1): 94

Departments 
Community Health and Humanities
Clinical Disciplines - Medicine
Communities 
St. John's
Locations 
Newfoundland and Labrador
Canada
Themes 
Cancer
Medicine
Industry Sectors 
Scientific Research and Development Services
Health Care and Social Assistance
Start date 
1 Jan 2012