258498 Alcohol Use, Cancer Deaths, and Years of Potential Life Lost in the United States

Tuesday, October 30, 2012

David Nelson, MD, MPH , Cancer Prevention Fellowship Program, National Cancer Institute, Bethesda, MD
Timothy S. Naimi, MD, MPH , Section of General Internal Medicine, Department of Medicine, Boston University School of Medicine, Boston, MA
Dwayne Jarman, DVM, MPH , Detroit District Office, FDA, Detroit, MI
JŁrgen Rehm, PhD , Social, Prevention and Health Policy Research Department, Centre for Addiction and Mental Health, Toronto, ON, Canada
Gregoire Rey , INSERM, CťpiDc, Le Kremlin-BicÍtre, France
Kevin Shield , Centre for Addiction and Mental Health, University of Toronto, Toronto, ON, Canada
Paige Miller, PhD, MPH , Cancer Prevention Fellowship Program, National Cancer Institute, Rockville, MD
Background. Although alcohol is a risk factor for several types of cancer, its overall impact on U.S. cancer mortality has not been estimated in recent years. Furthermore, the potential role of reduced alcohol consumption as a cancer prevention strategy is not widely recognized. We estimated the contribution of alcohol use to cancer mortality and years of potential life lost (YPLL) among U.S. adults during 2007 by age group, sex, and alcohol consumption level. Methods. Alcohol-attributable deaths and YPLLs were calculated using relative risk estimates from recent meta-analyses; cancer mortality and life expectancy data from the U.S. Vital Statistics System; prevalence data on alcohol use from Behavioral Risk Factor Surveillance System surveys; and alcohol sales-based consumption data from the Alcohol Epidemiologic Data System. We used two different methodologies to provide sensitivity analyses. Results. In 2007, 3.5% of all U.S. cancer deaths (19,700 to 20,200 deaths) were alcohol-attributable. Among women, breast cancer accounted for the majority of alcohol-attributable cancer deaths (55% to 66%), whereas oropharyngeal and esophageal cancers accounted for 47% to 63% of alcohol-attributable cancer deaths among men. Approximately one-fourth to one-third of alcohol-attributable cancer deaths occurred at low-to-moderate average consumption levels. Alcohol-attributable cancer deaths resulted in 339,100 to 356,900 YPLL, or an average of 16.8 to 18.1 YPLLs per death.

Conclusions. Alcohol is a major contributor to cancer mortality in the United States. Implementing effective population-based alcohol policy strategies could significantly reduce cancer mortality. Additional analyses are planned using 2008 data, which will include stratification by high risk populations.

Learning Areas:
Administer health education strategies, interventions and programs
Advocacy for health and health education
Epidemiology
Public health or related public policy
Public health or related research

Learning Objectives:
Name the types of cancer related to alcohol use. Describe the burden of cancer deaths and YPLLs attributable to alcohol use in the U.S., both overall and at different levels of consumption. Describe the types of cancers with the largest number of deaths and years of potential life lost attributable to alcohol use by gender and age. Identify evidence-based public health strategies to reduce alcohol use and excessive drinking.

Keywords: Alcohol Use, Cancer Prevention

Presenting author's disclosure statement:

Qualified on the content I am responsible for because: I have experience in alcohol-related research, as demonstrated by prior peer-reviewed publications on this subject.
Any relevant financial relationships? No

I agree to comply with the American Public Health Association Conflict of Interest and Commercial Support Guidelines, and to disclose to the participants any off-label or experimental uses of a commercial product or service discussed in my presentation.