Alcohol’s Contribution To Cancer Is Underestimated for Exactly the Same Reason That Its Contribution To Cardioprotection Is Overestimated
This article is a commentary to “Alcohol consumption as a cause of cancer” by Jennie Connor.
Connor discusses whether it is consistent to doubt epidemiological studies that low‐dose alcohol is cardioprotective while accepting similar evidence that it also causes cancer.
The present authors show that misclassification of former and occasional alcohol use as abstainers is widespread in alcohol epidemiology. This practice leads to a systematic underestimation of health risks from alcohol use (e.g. for cancer) and overestimation of health benefits. Correction of this problem in future studies should lead to significantly larger estimates of alcohol’s contribution to chronic disease.