Alcohol drinking blamed for rise in colorectal cancer cases among young adults
Consumption of alcohol appears to be a risk factor for early-onset colorectal cancer (CRC) and has driven an increase in the incidence of colorectal cancer among young adults, as shown in a study.
For the study, researchers looked at the ecologic associations between dietary factors and early-onset CRC among adults aged 25–49 years in the United States. They used negative binomial regression models and applied an age-mean centering (AMC) approach to address potential confounding by age.
Analyses were stratified by sex, and incidence rate ratio (IRR) was estimated for each study factor. Data on study factor data (18 variables) were obtained from repeated national surveys, while early-onset colorectal cancer incidence data were drawn from the Surveillance Epidemiology and End Results Program.
The researchers noted the possible existence of confounding by age on the association with early-onset CRC for certain study factors such as calcium intake. However, this confounding was alleviated using the AMC approach.
Early-onset CRC incidence had a positive association with smoking (men: IRR, 1.17, 95 percent confidence interval [CI], 1.10–1.24; women: IRR, 1.15, 95 percent CI, 1.09–1.21) and alcohol consumption (men: IRR, 1.08, 95 percent CI, 1.04–1.12; women: IRR, 1.08, 95 percent CI, 1.04–1.11).
There were no significant associations found for other study factors (eg, fibre and calcium).