Department of Psychology and Behavioural Sciences

Time characteristics of the effect of alcohol cessation on the risk of stomach cancer--a meta-analysis

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  • Johan Jarl, Lund University, Sweden
  • Gawain Heckley, Lund University, Sweden
  • Julie Brummer
  • Ulf-G Gerdtham

BACKGROUND: In the Bagnardi et al. (2001) meta-analysis, it was found that alcohol consumption increases the risk of stomach cancer (OR = 1.32 for heavy drinkers). However, it is unknown if drinking cessation reverses this alcohol-elevated risk.

METHODS: A systematic literature review was performed to provide the information for a meta-analysis where the dose-risk trend was estimated for years since drinking cessation and the risk of stomach cancer. A random effect generalised least squares model for trend estimation was used, employing study characteristics to control for heterogeneity.

RESULTS: Nineteen observational studies were identified in the literature review, of which five studies quantified duration of cessation and risk of stomach cancer, giving a total of 1947 cancer cases. No significant effect of drinking cessation on the risk of stomach cancer could be found (OR = 0.99 CI: 0.97-1.02).

CONCLUSIONS: This result should be interpreted with caution due to the limited number of studies in this area. Recent findings suggest a link between heavy drinking and stomach cancer, especially gastric noncardia, but not for moderate drinking. Since all but one of the included studies in this meta-analysis failed to control for consumption level, the current study could not test if the risk decline following drinking cessation differs between moderate and high consumers.

Original languageEnglish
JournalBMC Public Health
Pages (from-to)600
Publication statusPublished - 20 Jun 2013
Externally publishedYes

    Research areas

  • Alcohol Drinking/prevention & control, Humans, Risk Assessment, Stomach Neoplasms/epidemiology, Time Factors

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