Alcohol Consumption, HDL-Cholesterol and Incidence of Colon and Rectal Cancer: A Prospective Cohort Study Including 250,010 Participants
Peer reviewed, Journal article
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Original versionAlcohol and Alcoholism. 2021, . 10.1093/alcalc/agab007
Aims:Alcohol consumption has been linked to colorectal cancer (CRC) and also to the high-densitylipoprotein cholesterol level (HDL-C). HDL-C has been associated with the incidence of CRC. The aimof this study was to investigate the association between self-reported alcohol consumption, HDL-Cand incidence of CRC, separately for the two sites. Methods:Altogether, 250,010 participants in Norwegian surveys have been followed-up for anaverage of 18 years with respect to a first-time outcome of colon or rectal cancer. During follow-up,3023 and 1439 colon and rectal cancers were registered. Results:For men, the HR per 1 drink per day was 1.05 with 95% confidence interval (0.98–1.12)for colon and 1.08 (1.02–1.15) for rectal cancer. The corresponding figures for women were 1.03(0.97–1.10) and 1.05 (1.00–1.10). There was a positive association between alcohol consumptionand HDL-C. HDL-C was inversely associated with colon cancer in men (0.74 (0.62–0.89) per 1 mmol/l)and positively associated with rectal cancer, although not statistically significant (1.15 (0.92–1.44).A robust regression that assigned weights to each observation and exclusion of weights≤0.1increased the HRs per 1 drink per day and decreased the HR per 1 mmol/l for colon cancer. Theassociations with rectal cancer remained unchanged. Conclusion:Our results support a positive association between alcohol consumption and colonand rectal cancer, most pronounced for rectal cancer. Considering the positive relation betweenalcohol consumption and HDL-C, the inverse association between HDL-C and colon cancer in menremains unsettled.