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Medical Science Monitor Basic Research


eISSN: 1643-3750

Alcohol consumption and the risk of colorectal cancer at low levels of micronutrient intake.

Jürgen Wahrendorf, Beata Tobiasz-Adamczyk, Tadeusz Popiela, Karen Steindorf, Wiesław Jedrychowski, Jan Kulig, Agnieszka Penar

Med Sci Monit 2002; 8(5): CR357-363

ID: 420836

Available online:

Published: 2002-05-15

BACKGROUND: The purpose of our study was to assess the relationship betweensimultaneous exposure to alcohol and consumption of micronutrients that may have protective propertiesagainst colorectal cancer. MATERIAL/METHODS: This hospital-based case-control study of colorectal cancerwas carried out between January 1998 and November 1999 in Cracow, Poland. A total of 180 cases of colorectalcancer confirmed by histopathology were recruited from the University Hospital in Cracow. An equal numberof controls, individually matched by gender and age (+/- 5 years) were chosen from among patients fromthe same hospital with no history of cancer. An interviewer-administered food frequency questionnairecovering 148 food items, including the quantity consumed, was used to assess the typical dietary pattern.RESULTS: When the analysis was carried out on quartile intake data, a consistent inverse associationwas confirmed between the intake of retinol, thiamine or antioxidant micronutrients (carotene, vitaminC and E) and the occurrence of colorectal cancer. Alcohol intake appeared to be an important risk factorfor this cancer site, and the risk increased with the amount of pure alcohol intake. The group with deficientintake of retinol, carotene, and vitamins C and E, but with higher consumption of alcohol, incur a noticeablyhigh risk of colorectal cancer (OR=6.79; 95%CI: 2.08-22.18). CONCLUSIONS: The data support the hypothesisthat higher consumption of alcohol, when combined with low micronutrient intake, may considerably increasethe risk of colorectal cancer.

Keywords: Adult, Alcohol Drinking, Antioxidants, Ascorbic Acid, Carotenoids, Colorectal Neoplasms, Micronutrients, Odds Ratio, Research Support, Non-U.S. Gov, Risk Factors, thiamine, Vitamin A, Vitamin E