Alcohol consumption and lung cancer risk in the environment and genetics in lung cancer etiology (EAGLE) study

Vincenzo Bagnardi, Giorgia Randi, Jay Lubin, Dario Consonni, Tram Kim Lam, Amy F. Subar, Alisa M. Goldstein, Sholom Wacholder, Andrew W. Bergen, Margaret A. Tucker, Adriano Decarli, Neil E. Caporaso, Pier Alberto Bertazzi, Maria Teresa Landi

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review


The authors investigated the relation between alcohol consumption and lung cancer risk in the Environment and Genetics in Lung Cancer Etiology (EAGLE) Study, a population-based case-control study. Between 2002 and 2005, 2,100 patients with primary lung cancer were recruited from 13 hospitals within the Lombardy region of Italy and were frequency-matched on sex, area of residence, and age to 2,120 randomly selected controls. Alcohol consumption during adulthood was assessed in 1,855 cases and 2,065 controls. Data on lifetime tobacco smoking, diet, education, and anthropometric measures were collected. Adjusted odds ratios and 95% confidence intervals for categories of mean daily ethanol intake were calculated using unconditional logistic regression. Overall, both nondrinkers (odds ratio = 1.42, 95% confidence interval: 1.03, 2.01) and very heavy drinkers (≥60 g/day; odds ratio = 1.44, 95% confidence interval: 1.01, 2.07) were at significantly greater risk than very light drinkers (0.1-4.9 g/day). The alcohol effect was modified by smoking behavior, with no excess risk being observed in never smokers. In summary, heavy alcohol consumption was a risk factor for lung cancer among smokers in this study. Although residual confounding by tobacco smoking cannot be ruled out, this finding may reflect interplay between alcohol and smoking, emphasizing the need for preventive measures.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)36-44
Number of pages9
JournalAmerican Journal of Epidemiology
Issue number1
Publication statusPublished - Jan 2010


  • Alcohol drinking
  • Case-control studies
  • Ethanol
  • Lung neoplasms
  • Risk factors
  • Smoking

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Epidemiology

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