Background: The relationship between alcohol consumption and increased risk of lung cancer is controversial. This study was set up to investigate the association between alcohol consumption and death from lung cancer in a large Japanese cohort. Methods: The subjects comprised 28,536 males, aged 40-79 years, living throughout Japan. During 268,464 person-years of follow-up, 377 lung cancer deaths were recorded. The hazard ratio (HR) of alcohol consumption for lung cancer mortality was calculated using the Cox proportional hazards model after adjustment for age, smoking and family history of lung cancer. Results: There was no association between increased mortality from lung cancer and alcohol consumption among current drinkers. Compared with subjects who had never drunk alcohol, the HRs (95% confidence interval [Cl]) of death from lung cancer for light (consuming <25.0 g ethanol per day), moderate (25.0-49.9 g per day) and heavy (≥50 g per day) drinkers were 0.81 (95% Cl=0.61-1.07), 0.82 (0.61-1.11) and 0.97 (0.66-1.43), respectively. Further adjustment for fruit and vegetable intake did not change the results, and there was no change in HR materially after excluding those patients who died during the first 5 years of follow-up. Conclusions: These findings indicate that alcohol consumption was not associated with increased lung cancer mortality in this population of Japanese men.
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