Burden of cancer attributable to consumption of alcohol in Japan in 2015

Hirabayashi M, Sawada N, Abe SK, Saito E, Hori M, Katanoda K, Matsuda T, Inoue M; the Cancer PAF Japan Collaborators


Alcohol can cause or contribute to the development of many non-communicable diseases, including cancer. We calculated the proportion of cancer incidence and mortality in 2015 attributable to alcohol consumption in 2005. Data on alcohol consumption, provided in go, a traditional Japanese alcohol measurement unit, was derived from the 2005 Japanese National Health and Nutrition Survey for each sex and age group, then converted into grams of ethanol per day. The optimal consumption of alcohol for the purpose of this study was determined to be none, based on a global assessment derived from previous observational studies that have looked at the association between alcohol consumption and cancer. Using standard formulas, population attributable fractions (PAFs) for all cancers positively associated with alcohol drinking - oral cavity, pharynx, esophagus, stomach, colorectum, liver, larynx, and female breast - were calculated for each sex and age group and aggregated to obtain the PAF among total cancer incidence and mortality. For Japan in 2015, 59,838 cases of cancer incidence and 23,929 cancer deaths were attributable to alcohol consumption. The estimated PAF for cancer incidence and mortality attributable to alcohol consumption was 6.2% and 6.5%, respectively. For both cancer incidence and mortality, the highest percentage of alcohol-attributable cancer sites was esophageal (54.0% for incidence, 52.3% for mortality). Avoidance of alcohol consumption would reduce the burden of alcohol on cancer in Japan.

KEYWORDS: cancer, alcohol, population attributable fraction, Japan

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