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Special article Genetically determined alcohol consumption and cancer risk in Korea
Keum Ji Jung1orcid , Ji Woo Baek1orcid , Sang Yop Shin2orcid , Sun Ha Jee1orcid
Epidemiol Health 2023;e2023077
DOI: https://doi.org/10.4178/epih.e2023077 [Accepted]
Published online: August 23, 2023
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1Graduate School of Public Health, Yonsei University, Seoul, Korea, Seoul, Korea
2Korea Medical Institute, Seoul, Korea
Corresponding author:  Sun Ha Jee,
Email: jsunha@yuhs.ac
Received: 28 April 2023   • Revised: 21 July 2023   • Accepted: 21 July 2023

The purpose of this study was to determine the causal relationship between the genetically determined amount of alcohol consumption and the occurrence of major cancers.
The data used in this study were from 129,324 people selected from the Korean Cancer Prevention Study-II, the participants of which visited 18 health examination centers between 2004 and 2013. Cancer incidence was confirmed as of 2020 using data from the National Cancer Center. A genome-wide association study (GWAS) on alcohol consumption was performed using PLINK 2.0, and sex, age, chip type, and principal components were adjusted.
From the GWAS, a genetic risk score for alcohol consumption was calculated and genetically determined alcohol consumption (GDAC) was estimated. GDAC was divided into quintile groups and showed significant causal relationships with rectal cancer and liver cancer, but not with other cancers. For liver cancer, an association was shown in the hepatitis B surface antigen (HBsAg)-negative group, and a particularly strong association was found in the over-60-year-old HBsAg-negative group, in which, compared to the GDAC Q1 group, the Q4 group had a 2.35 times higher risk (95% CI, 1.05-5.23), and the Q5 group had a 2.40 times higher risk (95% CI, 1.22-7.01).
The results of this study provided evidence that the amount of alcohol consumed is causally related to the occurrence of rectal cancer and liver cancer in HBsAg-negative individuals. Additional studies should be continued for other cancer types through long-term follow-up.

Epidemiol Health : Epidemiology and Health