Risk factors for oral and pharyngeal cancer in young adults

Teresa Rodriguez, Andrea Altieri, Liliane Chatenoud, Silvano Gallus, Cristina Bosetti, Eva Negri, Silvia Franceschi, Fabio Levi, Renato Talamini, Carlo La Vecchia

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review


Mortality from oral cancer has been rising in the young in several areas of the world until the early 1990s. We analysed data from two case-control studies from Italy and Switzerland including 137 cases of oral and pharyngeal cancer below age 46 and 298 hospital controls. The multivariate odds ratios (OR) were 20.7 for heavy smokers and 4.9 for heavy drinkers. The combination of high tobacco and alcohol consumption led to an OR of over 48. Body mass index (OR=0.28, for the highest tertile), high consumption of coffee (OR=0.25), fresh vegetables (OR=0.39), fruit (OR=0.73) and β-carotene (OR=0.48) were inversely related to risk. Tobacco accounted for 77% of all cancer cases in this population, alcohol for 52%, low vegetable consumption for 52%, and the combination of the three factors for 85%.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)207-213
Number of pages7
JournalOral Oncology
Issue number2
Publication statusPublished - Feb 2004


  • Alcohol drinking
  • Case-control studies
  • Oral cancer
  • Pharyngeal cancer
  • Risk factors
  • Tobacco

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Oncology


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