Study links drinking to cancer risk for men who smoke
The more alcohol male smokers drink, the higher the risk of suffering cancer they run, according to a research team of the Health, Labor and Welfare Ministry.
Researchers have pointed to the possibility that an enzyme that dissolves alcohol activates cancer-causing substances contained in cigarettes.
However, the team was unable to clarify the tendency of women because few of those surveyed by the research team responded that they drink a large amount of liquor every day.
The research team conducted the large-scale research on some 73,000 people across the country from 1990 to 2001, and has since analyzed the results.
Male smokers who drink 0.36 to 0.54 liters of sake, a Japanese liquor brewed from rice, everyday have 1.9 times the chance of suffering from cancer that those who sometimes drink the same amount have, the results showed.
Those who drink more than 0.54 liters everyday run 2.3 times the risk than those who occasionally drink. Researchers say 0.54 liters of sake is equivalent to three 750-milliliter bottles of beer or six glasses of wine.
"In a bid to prevent cancer and other kinds of serious diseases caused by habits in daily life, you shouldn't drink more than 0.18 liters of sake (or a 750-milliliter bottle of beer or two glasses of wine) a day," a member of the research team said. (Mainichi Shimbun, Japan, Dec. 25, 2004)