Editorials

Alcohol and cancer

BMJ 1998; 317 doi: https://doi.org/10.1136/bmj.317.7162.827 (Published 26 September 1998) Cite this as: BMJ 1998;317:827

Still no clear evidence to link specific beverages to specific cancers

  1. Svend Sabroe, Senior lecturer
  1. Department of Epidemiology and Social Medicine. University of Aarhus, 8000 Ǻrhus C, Denmark

    Papers p 844

    Throughout the world the connection between alcohol and mortality—in particular deaths from coronary diseases—is described as a U shaped curve, with the highest mortalities among non-drinkers and heavy drinkers and the lowest among moderate drinkers. Recently the discussion has been extended to consider whether there might be a difference in mortality from coronary disease depending on the type of alcohol consumed. Some have suggested that wine in moderate quantities reduces mortality, but in 1997 White concluded, “No real evidence exists that wine is better than beer and spirits.”1 Similar questions have also been raised about the possible carcinogenic effects of alcohol—and whether these too are related to different types of alcohol.

    The most well researched associations between alcohol and cancer are …

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