, Volume 21, Issue 12, pp 2295-2302
Date: 13 Oct 2010

Alcohol consumption and mortality from all-cause and cancers among 1.34 million Koreans: the results from the Korea national health insurance corporation’s health examinee cohort in 2000

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The relationship between alcohol and cancer death has not been well established in Asian population, particularly among women.


We evaluated the association between alcohol consumption and all-cause and cancer mortality in a large-scale prospective study of 1,341,393 Korean men and women aged 40–69 years who participated in health examination in 2000. After 5 years follow-up for mortality (2001–2005), 19,375 deaths were identified, and Cox regression was used for longitudinal analyses.


The J-shaped relationship between alcohol consumption and all-cause and all-cancer mortality was found in men. However, heavy drinking was positively associated with the risk of all-cause and all-cancer mortality in men and women. Alcohol consumption was positively associated with the risk of cancer mortality such as cancers of liver, stomach, colorectal, prostate, esophageal, brain, and larynx and cancer of lips, oral cavity, pharynx in men and increased the risk of all-cancer and colorectal cancer mortality in women. Kidney cancer mortality was inversely associated with alcohol consumption in men.


Heavy drinking showed an increased mortality risk of all-cause, all-cancer, and several cancers in men and women. There was no favorable effect of light drinking on all-cause and all-cancer mortality for women.

Mi Kyung Kim and Min Jung Ko equally contributed to this work.