Ethanol intake and risk of lung cancer in the European Prospective Investigation into Cancer and Nutrition (EPIC)

Sabine Rohrmann, Jakob Linseisen, Hendriek C. Boshuizen, John Whittaker, Antonio Agudo, Paolo Vineis, Paolo Boffetta, Majken K. Jensen, Anja Olsen, Kim Overvad, Anne Tjønneland, Marie Christine Boutron-Ruault, Françoise Clavel-Chapelon, Manuela M. Bergmann, Heiner Boeing, Naomi Allen, Tim Key, Sheila Bingham, Kay Tee Khaw, Georgia KyriaziStavroula Soukara, Antonia Trichopoulou, Salvatore Panico, Domenico Palli, Sabina Sieri, Rosario Tumino, Petra H M Peeters, H. Bas Bueno-De-Mesquita, Frederike L. Büchner, Inger Torhild Gram, Eiliv Lund, Eva Ardanaz, María Dolores Chirlaque, Miren Dorronsoro, Maria José Sánchez Pérez, Jose R. Quirós, Göran Berglund, Lars Janzon, Torgny Rasmuson, Lars Weinehall, Pietro Ferrari, Mazda Jenab, Teresa Norat, Elio Riboli

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review


Within the European Prospective Investigation into Cancer and Nutrition (EPIC), the authors examined the association of ethanol intake at recruitment (1,119 cases) and mean lifelong ethanol intake (887 cases) with lung cancer. Information on baseline and past alcohol consumption, lifetime tobacco smoking, diet, and the anthropometric characteristics of 478,590 participants was collected between 1992 and 2000. Cox proportional hazards regression was used to calculate multivariate-adjusted hazard ratios and 95% confidence intervals. Overall, neither ethanol intake at recruitment nor mean lifelong ethanol intake was significantly associated with lung cancer. However, moderate intake (5-14.9 g/day) at recruitment (hazard ratio (HR) = 0.76, 95% confidence interval (CI): 0.63, 0.90) and moderate mean lifelong intake (HR = 0.80, 95% CI: 0.66, 0.97) were associated with a lower lung cancer risk in comparison with low consumption (0.1-4.9 g/day). Compared with low intake, a high (≥60 g/day) mean lifelong ethanol intake tended to be related to a higher risk of lung cancer (HR = 1.29, 95% CI: 0.93, 1.74), but high intake at recruitment was not. Although there was no overall association between ethanol intake and risk of lung cancer, the authors cannot rule out a lower risk for moderate consumption and a possibly increased risk for high lifelong consumption.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)1103-1114
Number of pages12
JournalAmerican Journal of Epidemiology
Issue number11
Publication statusPublished - Dec 2006


  • Alcohol drinking
  • Cohort studies
  • Ethanol
  • Lung neoplasms

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Epidemiology


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