A meta-analysis on alcohol drinking and gastric cancer risk

I. Tramacere, E. Negri, C. Pelucchi, V. Bagnardi, M. Rota, L. Scotti, F. Islami, G. Corrao, C. La vecchia, P. Boffetta

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review


Background: Whether an association between alcohol drinking and gastric cancer risk exists is an open question. In order to provide a definite quantification of the association between alcohol drinking and gastric cancer risk, we conducted a meta-analysis of available data. Patients and methods: We carried out a PubMed search of articles published up to June 2010 and identified 44 case-control and 15 cohort studies, including a total of 34 557 gastric cancer cases. We derived meta-analytic estimates using random-effects models, taking into account correlation between estimates. We carried out a dose-risk analysis using nonlinear random-effects meta-regression models. Results: Compared with nondrinkers, the pooled relative risk (RR) was 1.07 [95% confidence interval (CI) 1.01-1.13] for alcohol drinkers and 1.20 (95% CI 1.01-1.44) for heavy alcohol drinkers (≥4 drinks per day). The pooled estimates were apparently higher for gastric noncardia (RR for heavy drinkers = 1.17, 95% CI 0.78-1.75) than for gastric cardia (RR = 0.99, 95% CI 0.67-1.47) adenocarcinoma. The dose-risk model estimated a RR of 0.95 (95% CI 0.91-0.99) for 10 g/day and 1.14 (95% CI 1.08-1.21) for 50 g/day. Conclusions: This meta-analysis provides definite evidence of a lack of association between moderate alcohol drinking and gastric cancer risk. There was, however, a positive association with heavy alcohol drinking.

Original languageEnglish
Article numbermdr135
Pages (from-to)28-36
Number of pages9
JournalAnnals of Oncology
Issue number1
Publication statusPublished - Jan 2012


  • Alcohol drinking
  • Dose-risk relation
  • Meta-analysis
  • Stomach neoplasms
  • Systematic review

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Oncology
  • Hematology


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