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posted by janrinok on Thursday March 26 2015, @06:06AM   Printer-friendly
from the first-they-came-for-your-smokes dept.

Source The Guardian

The World Cancer Research Fund (WCRF) has pinpointed the level of drinking implicated in liver cancer after undertaking what it says was the biggest review so far of the evidence on the relationship between diet, weight, physical activity and the disease.

Its assessment of 34 previous studies covering 8.2 million people, more than 24,500 of whom had liver cancer, revealed “strong evidence” linking intake of three drinks a day to the disease.

“Around three or more drinks per day can be enough to cause liver cancer,” said Amanda Mclean, director of the charity’s UK branch. “Until now we were uncertain about the amount of alcohol likely to lead to liver cancer. But the research reviewed in this report is strong enough, for the first time, to be more specific about this.”

The WCRF’s findings prompted the Alcohol Health Alliance, a coalition of health organisations, to claim that alcohol is so toxic that cans and bottles should carry health warnings.

“Alcohol, like tobacco and asbestos, is a class 1 carcinogen and it is totally unacceptable that the public is not provided with such basic information”, said Prof Sir Ian Gilmore, the alliance’s chair.

On the flip side...

The WCRF’s analysis also found strong evidence that coffee could help protect against liver cancer, though it did not specify the amounts someone needs to drink.

Related Stories

American Society of Clinical Oncology: Alcohol Use Increases Risk of Cancer 39 comments

The American Society of Clinical Oncology (ASCO) has released a statement (open, DOI: 10.1200/JCO.2017.76.1155) (DX) discussing the links between alcohol consumption and cancer:

The statement provides evidence of a connection between light drinking and an increased risk of esophageal and breast cancer. Heavy drinkers face a much longer list of risks, including mouth cancer, throat cancer, cancer of the voice box, liver cancer, and colorectal cancer. That's a whole lot of cancers.

"The message is not, 'Don't drink.' It's, 'If you want to reduce your cancer risk, drink less," said Dr. Noelle LoConte, lead author of the statement. "And if you don't drink, don't start." She says this "subtle" take on the issue is somewhat less cautionary than the warnings about smoking. But the message rings the same.

The doctors behind the statement aimed to draw attention to what they view as a public health problem and advocate for a push towards better education and research.

Also at Medscape and ASCO (shorter press release).

Previously: Study Shows 3 Drinks a Day May Cause Liver Cancer

Related: Even Moderate Drinking Linked to a Decline in Brain Health
Researchers Make Alcohol Out of Thin Air
No Magic Pill to Cure Alcohol Dependence Yet
Early Age of Drinking Leads to Neurocognitive and Neuropsychological Damage


Original Submission

World Health Organization: Alcohol Killed 3 Million People in 2016 32 comments

Excessive drinking killed over 3 million people in 2016

Drinking too much alcohol killed more than 3 million people in 2016, mostly men, the World Health Organization said.

The U.N. health agency also warned that current policy responses are not sufficient to reverse trends predicting an increase in consumption over the next 10 years.

In a new report Friday, the agency said that about 237 million men and 46 million women faced alcohol problems, with the highest prevalence in Europe and the Americas. Europe has the highest global per capita alcohol consumption, even though it has already dropped by 10 percent since 2010.

Around a third of alcohol-related deaths were a result of injuries, including car crashes and self-harm, while about one in five were due to either digestive disorders or cardiovascular diseases. Cancers, infectious diseases, mental disorders and other health conditions were also to blame.

From the Chapter 4 summary:

In 2016, the harmful use of alcohol resulted in some 3 million deaths (5.3% of all deaths) worldwide and 132.6 million disability-adjusted life years (DALYs) – i.e. 5.1% of all DALYs in that year. Mortality resulting from alcohol consumption is higher than that caused by diseases such as tuberculosis, HIV/AIDS and diabetes. Among men in 2016, an estimated 2.3 million deaths and 106.5 million DALYs were attributable to the consumption of alcohol. Women experienced 0.7 million deaths and 26.1 million DALYs attributable to alcohol consumption.

Related: The Truth We Won't Admit: Drinking is Healthy
Study Shows 3 Drinks a Day May Cause Liver Cancer
Even Moderate Drinking Linked to a Decline in Brain Health
American Society of Clinical Oncology: Alcohol Use Increases Risk of Cancer
Study: No "Safe" Level of Alcohol Consumption


Original Submission

Study: No "Safe" Level of Alcohol Consumption 89 comments

No alcohol safe to drink, global study confirms

A large new global study published in the Lancet has confirmed previous research which has shown that there is no safe level of alcohol consumption. The researchers admit moderate drinking may protect against heart disease but found that the risk of cancer and other diseases outweighs these protections. A study author said its findings were the most significant to date because of the range of factors considered.

The Global Burden of Disease [open, DOI: 10.1016/S0140-6736(18)31310-2] [DX] study looked at levels of alcohol use and its health effects in 195 countries, including the UK, between 1990 and 2016.

Analysing data from 15 to 95-year-olds, the researchers compared people who did not drink at all with those who had one alcoholic drink a day. They found that out of 100,000 non-drinkers, 914 would develop an alcohol-related health problem such as cancer or suffer an injury. But an extra four people would be affected if they drank one alcoholic drink a day. For people who had two alcoholic drinks a day, 63 more developed a condition within a year and for those who consumed five drinks every day, there was an increase of 338 people, who developed a health problem.

One of the study authors, Prof Sonia Saxena, a researcher at Imperial College London and a practising GP, said: "One drink a day does represent a small increased risk, but adjust that to the UK population as a whole and it represents a far bigger number, and most people are not drinking just one drink a day."

Related: The Truth We Won't Admit: Drinking is Healthy
Study Shows 3 Drinks a Day May Cause Liver Cancer
Even Moderate Drinking Linked to a Decline in Brain Health
American Society of Clinical Oncology: Alcohol Use Increases Risk of Cancer


Original Submission

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  • (Score: 3, Funny) by Anonymous Coward on Thursday March 26 2015, @06:34AM

    by Anonymous Coward on Thursday March 26 2015, @06:34AM (#162621)

    This isn't about health; this is about coping!

    • (Score: 2) by FatPhil on Thursday March 26 2015, @11:07AM

      by FatPhil (863) <{pc-soylent} {at} {asdf.fi}> on Thursday March 26 2015, @11:07AM (#162665) Homepage
      Fuck health - I'm a ticker!

      http://www.ratebeer.com/user/51287/ : "9899 beer ratings · 337 place ratings" (And I have a backlog of a couple of hundred beers to type in from several different trips abroad, so I'm well over 10000)

      That requires a *lot* of drinking and going to pubs and beer festivals. I have such a horrible hobby ;-)
      --
      Great minds discuss ideas; average minds discuss events; small minds discuss people; the smallest discuss themselves
      • (Score: 0) by Anonymous Coward on Thursday March 26 2015, @01:39PM

        by Anonymous Coward on Thursday March 26 2015, @01:39PM (#162711)

        You're doing god's work, son!

      • (Score: 2) by Hairyfeet on Thursday March 26 2015, @04:38PM

        by Hairyfeet (75) <{bassbeast1968} {at} {gmail.com}> on Thursday March 26 2015, @04:38PM (#162795) Journal

        Meh you are gonna die of something, might as well be something you enjoy, right ;-)

        I just got lucky somebody came up with vaping so I can indulge my little habit without fogging out the wife, downside is she keeps buying me these funky fruity flavors so she can use me as an air freshener :-(

        --
        ACs are never seen so don't bother. Always ready to show SJWs for the racists they are.
        • (Score: 2) by FatPhil on Friday March 27 2015, @10:21AM

          by FatPhil (863) <{pc-soylent} {at} {asdf.fi}> on Friday March 27 2015, @10:21AM (#163152) Homepage
          Absolutely. The plan is for the heart, kidney, liver, and brain to all go within a month of each other. I'd hate to die with any working organs, that would mean I didn't abuse them enough. (Not a smoker, so the lungs will probably survive.)
          --
          Great minds discuss ideas; average minds discuss events; small minds discuss people; the smallest discuss themselves
          • (Score: 2) by Hairyfeet on Friday March 27 2015, @03:51PM

            by Hairyfeet (75) <{bassbeast1968} {at} {gmail.com}> on Friday March 27 2015, @03:51PM (#163212) Journal

            Try vaping, its pleasurable as hell, cheap, and reading as many articles as I can it might even...gasp!...be good for you as it helps keep crap from building in your lungs as its the same stuff used in asthma inhalers. Right now I'm vaping RY4, a delicious mix of tobacco, vanilla, and caramel, and lately I've been trying to use those funky fruity flavors the missus gives me instead of having desserts and so far has lost nearly 10 pounds.

            --
            ACs are never seen so don't bother. Always ready to show SJWs for the racists they are.
    • (Score: 2) by davester666 on Thursday March 26 2015, @05:39PM

      by davester666 (155) on Thursday March 26 2015, @05:39PM (#162857)

      Good thing I never stop at 3!

  • (Score: 5, Funny) by hemocyanin on Thursday March 26 2015, @06:39AM

    by hemocyanin (186) on Thursday March 26 2015, @06:39AM (#162623) Journal

    not much else to say really.

  • (Score: 1, Informative) by Anonymous Coward on Thursday March 26 2015, @07:56AM

    by Anonymous Coward on Thursday March 26 2015, @07:56AM (#162643)

    3 drinks a day seems quite excessive, so I think I'm good.

    • (Score: 0) by Anonymous Coward on Thursday March 26 2015, @10:33AM

      by Anonymous Coward on Thursday March 26 2015, @10:33AM (#162658)

      My partner insists on drinking three drinks a day. That's not much, she claims, although it's 3x 440ml cans, so it is in effect four standard drinks a day.

      She'll just deny this, tell me the researchers are wrong because if it's right how come we're allowed to buy alcohol, and on top of that, her mother will disagree so that's clearly the researchers at fault, not the 75 year old woman who works as a cleaner

      • (Score: 0) by Anonymous Coward on Thursday March 26 2015, @11:23AM

        by Anonymous Coward on Thursday March 26 2015, @11:23AM (#162667)

        Make the most of it while you can

      • (Score: 2) by hemocyanin on Thursday March 26 2015, @04:22PM

        by hemocyanin (186) on Thursday March 26 2015, @04:22PM (#162785) Journal

        Genetics probably plays a role and if her mother drank that much and is still alive and working at 75, don't worry about it.

        • (Score: 2) by HiThere on Thursday March 26 2015, @11:48PM

          by HiThere (866) on Thursday March 26 2015, @11:48PM (#163017) Journal

          I'm sure genetics plays a part in this, but most traits aren't determined by single genes, and even if it were there'd be only a 50% chance that she was also in the "no worries" crowd. Most characteristics are determined by a fairly large ensemble of genes, and it's usually difficult to guess the chance of inheriting any particular characteristic. Eye and hair color are clear exceptions, and simple blood type is an exception (actual blood type is a lot more than just A, B, O, +/-), as you'll find out if you ever need an organ transplant (except cornea, or a couple of other safe tissues).

          --
          Javascript is what you use to allow unknown third parties to run software you have no idea about on your computer.
      • (Score: 0) by Anonymous Coward on Friday March 27 2015, @03:18AM

        by Anonymous Coward on Friday March 27 2015, @03:18AM (#163088)

        if it's right how come we're allowed to buy alcohol

        Because substance legality has nothing to do with safety or toxicity. Tylenol is more toxic than MDMA and heroin, and alcohol is far more toxic than marijuana and cocaine.

    • (Score: 3, Funny) by GungnirSniper on Thursday March 26 2015, @12:03PM

      by GungnirSniper (1671) on Thursday March 26 2015, @12:03PM (#162679) Journal

      Three drinks? That's just breakfast.

    • (Score: 2, Funny) by Pr. L Muishkin on Thursday March 26 2015, @12:14PM

      by Pr. L Muishkin (5143) on Thursday March 26 2015, @12:14PM (#162686)

      3 drinks a day seems quite excessive, so I think I'm good.

      I'm Scottish you insensitive clod! *hic*

  • (Score: 3, Interesting) by dltaylor on Thursday March 26 2015, @08:12AM

    by dltaylor (4693) on Thursday March 26 2015, @08:12AM (#162645)

    Keeping a girl down to one a day average, is pretty easy: three on party night, and one sometime in the rest of week.

    If it's a glass of wine every night, then party night is still just the one glass.

    Technically, I suppose, 10 drinks per week is one drink per day, average, but the article is VERY light on that sort of detail.

    Same for me: 8 when I'm not riding my motorcycle, but partying (at 115 Kg, there's a lot of mass to absorb the alcohol), and one, or two, somewhen else during the week, 'specially if I'm riding or driving, is very different from a steady 150 ml of whisk(e)y every night.

    • (Score: 2) by HiThere on Thursday March 26 2015, @11:59PM

      by HiThere (866) on Thursday March 26 2015, @11:59PM (#163022) Journal

      Yes-no. You also need to consider that organs don't scale linearly in size with the body. The livers and kidneys of larger people need to work harder per cc of organ than those of smaller people, so even though the alcohol would be more dilute in a larger body, that doesn't mean it's the same as the same dilution of alcohol in a smaller body.

      Figuring out how this effect scales would probably need to be experimentally determined, and from the summary it's pretty clear that they aren't claiming a precise amount. Merely a detected effect at a relatively low level. However since they present their estimate in the form drinks/day it's fairly certain that they're talking about an effect that was detected with few or no totally sober days. And since they're talking about people it's probably the case that they are operating on self-reported drinking, and that therefor the amounts are underestimates.

      P.S.: I wrote the above after only reading the summary. I'm not a biologist. etc., but after scanning the article it seems pretty clear that this is a meta-analysis of data collected using a variety of protocols. That doesn't make it wrong, but it means that it's not really subject to validation without a separate study...and people don't like to do expensive confirmatory studies because the funding people don't want to pay for it and the scientists involved don't get much credit.

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      Javascript is what you use to allow unknown third parties to run software you have no idea about on your computer.
  • (Score: 3, Interesting) by kaszz on Thursday March 26 2015, @11:53AM

    by kaszz (4211) on Thursday March 26 2015, @11:53AM (#162674) Journal

    What I'm missing from the articles on the research is how many times more risk say an double dose increase of alcohol will increase the risk for liver cancer. Increasing the risk from 1/1000 to say 1/2000 would be "double risk!" but when you look at the numbers it's something completely different.

    WCRF also has a strong finding about liver cancer connection with the fungi that produces Aflatoxin poison which is more prevalent in warmer, developing regions with inadequate storage. This can affect cereals, spices, peanuts, pistachios, Brazil nuts, chillies, black pepper, dried fruit, figs etc. A value of 4 µg/kg is suitable but when the harvest had higher content of Aflatoxin the limit were increased to 10 µg/kg and so on by the FAO in their Codex Alimentarius. So watch out! FAO is run by the interests of producers and traders. Not the impact of liver cancer.

  • (Score: 3, Funny) by zafiro17 on Thursday March 26 2015, @12:06PM

    by zafiro17 (234) on Thursday March 26 2015, @12:06PM (#162682) Homepage

    I'm currently only drinking about one per day. Dammit then, I ought to schedule in an additional glass and a half, now that we know what the threshold is!

    --
    Dad always thought laughter was the best medicine, which I guess is why several of us died of tuberculosis - Jack Handey
  • (Score: 4, Insightful) by CarlU on Thursday March 26 2015, @12:54PM

    by CarlU (5076) on Thursday March 26 2015, @12:54PM (#162699)

    My hope is that since people tend to under-report their alcohol consumption to health professionals this type of study may be underestimating the threshold for significant risk. (crosses fingers).

    • (Score: 1) by wisnoskij on Thursday March 26 2015, @02:44PM

      by wisnoskij (5149) <jonathonwisnoskiNO@SPAMgmail.com> on Thursday March 26 2015, @02:44PM (#162741)

      It does seem a little low. You are pretty far from a drunk if you have a beer with lunch, a glass of wine with diner, and a brandy in the afternoon. Millions of people have drunken a hell of a lot more than that. But then it will all add up with whatever else you do to your liver.

  • (Score: 1) by Buck Feta on Thursday March 26 2015, @02:18PM

    by Buck Feta (958) on Thursday March 26 2015, @02:18PM (#162725) Journal

    Allow me to be the 3,457,421st to say "No shit".

    --
    - fractious political commentary goes here -
    • (Score: 2) by tangomargarine on Thursday March 26 2015, @06:55PM

      by tangomargarine (667) on Thursday March 26 2015, @06:55PM (#162901)

      Considering that consuming like 75% of edible substances on Earth in sufficient quantities can give you some kind of cancer or disease...

      --
      "Is that really true?" "I just spent the last hour telling you to think for yourself! Didn't you hear anything I said?"
  • (Score: 1) by wisnoskij on Thursday March 26 2015, @02:36PM

    by wisnoskij (5149) <jonathonwisnoskiNO@SPAMgmail.com> on Thursday March 26 2015, @02:36PM (#162737)

    Ask drunks how many drinks they have had per day for last bunch of years. Use result as proof in "scientific" study.

  • (Score: 0) by Anonymous Coward on Thursday March 26 2015, @03:25PM

    by Anonymous Coward on Thursday March 26 2015, @03:25PM (#162754)

    At the general incidence rate of ~300/100k (0.3%), I think I'll ignore the breathless warnings about nothing and focus on enjoying life.