The role of alcohol consumption in the etiology of endometrial cancer has not been clarified. To examine the association between alcohol consumption and endometrial cancer risk, we conducted a case-control study with 148 histologically diagnosed incident endometrial cancer cases and 1468 matched non-cancer controls. Median consumption of alcohol was only 19.3 g/week among cases who drank and 28.2 g/week among controls who drank. These values are lower than in Western countries. Relative risk was analyzed in subjects classified into four groups according to weekly alcohol consumption (non-drinkers, 1-24 g/week, 25-175 g/week, and >175 g/week). Confounder-adjusted odds ratios for those consuming alcohol at <25 g/week, 25-175 g/week, and >175 g/week compared to non-drinkers were 0.79 (95% confidence interval (CI), 0.49-1.28), 0.42 (95% CI, 0.23-0.79), and 0.47 (95% CI, 0.14-1.58), respectively. Further analysis was conducted concerning self-reported physical reaction to alcohol. Among women without flushing after drinking, a significant inverse association between risk and alcohol intake was seen (trend P = 0.001). In contrast, no protective effect of alcohol was seen among women who experience flushing after drinking. These results suggest the presence of an inverse association between alcohol drinking and endometrial cancer risk among Japanese women, and that this association is evident among those without flushing. Further investigation of these findings is warranted.
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