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Member Research & Reports

Member Research & Reports

LSU: Alcohol Intake Patterns for Cancer and Non-cancer Individuals – A Population Study

Alcohol intake is a leading modifiable cause related to cancer-specific deaths. Various alcohol intake patterns have shown to impact cancer progression differently, however, many studies only evaluated simplified patterns of alcohol intake for cancer survivors. Dr. Hui-Yi Lin, associate professor at Louisiana State University Health Sciences Center School of Public Health and a team of researchers conducted a study to provide population-based prevalence of the complex alcohol drinking patterns for cancer survivors and compare it with that of non-cancer individuals.

A total of 193,197 individuals, including 16,504 cancer survivors, with age ≥18 years old in the 2012–2017 National Health Interview Survey (NHIS) were included in this study.  There were 62.1 percent of cancer survivors and 66.0 perent of non-cancer individuals who were current alcohol drinkers. The prevalence of heavy drinking was identical for 5.2 percent of cancer and non-cancer individuals. For frequent binge drinking, cancer survivors tended to have less frequent binges than non-cancer individuals. After adjusting for the selected demographic factors and smoking status, the cancer survivors were less likely to have the intermediate level of alcohol intake compared with non-cancer individuals.

In summary, cancer survivors have similar excessive alcohol drinking patterns but were less likely to have the intermediate level of alcohol intake compared to non-cancer individuals. Alcohol intake may enhance cancer progression, interfere with cancer treatments and increase cancer-related mortality. To improve cancer survivors’ health, custom alcohol interventions and cessation programs should be conducted to minimize alcohol intake for cancer survivors, especially for excessive alcohol drinkers.

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