Population Based Study of the Association Between Binge Drinking and Mortality from Cancer of Oropharynx and Esophagus in Korean Men: the Kangwha Cohort Study


We assessed the association between frequency of heavy binge drinking and mortality from oropharynxand esophagus cancer after controlling for the total volume of alcohol intake among Korean men. The cohortcomprised 2,677 male residents in Kangwha County, aged 55 or older in March 1985, for their upper digestivetract cancer mortality for 20.8 years up to December 31, 2005. For daily binge drinkers versus non-drinkers,the hazard ratios (95% Cls) for mortality were 4.82 (1.36, 17.1) and 6.75 (1.45, 31.4) for oropharyngeal andesophageal cancers, respectively. Even after adjusting for the volume of alcohol intake, we found the hazardratios for frequency of binge drinking and mortality of oropharyngeal or esophageal cancer to not changeappreciably: the hazard ratios were 4.90 (1.00, 27.0) and 7.17 (1.02, 50.6), respectively. For esophageal cancer,there was a strong dose-response relationship. The frequency of heavy binge drinking and not just the volumeof alcohol intake may increase the risk of mortality from upper digestive tract cancer, particularly esophagealcancer in Korean men. These findings need to be confirmed in further studies with a larger sample size.