Importance: Alcohol consumption is associated with adverse oncologic and treatment outcomes among individuals with a diagnosis of cancer. As a key modifiable behavioral factor, alcohol consumption patterns among cancer survivors, especially during treatment, remain underexplored in the United States. Objective: To comprehensively characterize alcohol consumption patterns among US cancer survivors. Design, Setting, and Participants: This cross-sectional study used data from May 6, 2018, to January 1, 2022, from the National Institutes of Health All of Us Research Program, a diverse US cohort with electronic health record (EHR) linkage, and included 15199 participants who reported a cancer diagnosis and 1839 patients among a subset with EHR data who underwent treatment within the past year of the baseline survey. Data analysis was performed from October 1, 2022, to January 31, 2023. Main Outcomes and Measures: Prevalence of current drinking and of risky drinking behaviors, including exceeding moderate drinking (>2 drinks on a typical drinking day), binge drinking (≥6 drinks on 1 occasion), and hazardous drinking (Alcohol Use Disorders Identification Test-Consumption [AUDIT-C] score ≥3 for women or ≥4 for men). Results: This study included 15199 adults (mean [SD] age at baseline, 63.1 [13.0] years; 9508 women [62.6%]) with a cancer diagnosis. Overall, 11815 cancer survivors (77.7%) were current drinkers. Among current drinkers, 1541 (13.0%) exceeded moderate drinking, 2812 (23.8%) reported binge drinking, and 4527 (38.3%) engaged in hazardous drinking. After multivariable adjustment, survivors who were younger than 65 years, men, or of Hispanic ethnicity or who received a diagnosis before 18 years of age or ever smoked were more likely to exceed moderate drinking (aged <50 years: odds ratio [OR], 2.90 [95% CI, 2.41-3.48]; aged 50-64 years: OR, 1.84 [95% CI, 1.58-2.15]; men: OR, 2.38 [95% CI, 2.09-2.72]; Hispanic ethnicity: OR, 1.31 [95% CI, 1.04-1.64]; aged <18 years at diagnosis: OR, 1.52 [95% CI, 1.04-2.24]; former smokers: OR, 2.46 [95% CI, 2.16-2.79]; current smokers: OR, 4.14 [95% CI, 3.40-5.04]) or binge drink (aged <50 years: OR, 4.46 [95% CI, 3.85-5.15]; aged 50-64 years: OR, 2.15 [95% CI, 1.90-2.43]; men: OR, 2.10 [95% CI, 1.89-2.34]; Hispanic ethnicity: OR, 1.31 [95% CI, 1.09-1.58]; aged <18 years at diagnosis: OR, 1.71 [95% CI, 1.24-2.35]; former smokers: OR, 1.69 [95% CI, 1.53-1.87]; current smokers: OR, 2.27 [95% CI, 1.91-2.71]). Survivors with cancer diagnosed before 18 years of age or who ever smoked were more likely to be hazardous drinkers (aged <18 years at diagnosis: OR, 1.52 [95% CI, 1.11-2.08]; former smokers: OR, 1.83 [95% CI, 1.68-1.99]; current smokers: OR, 2.13 [95% CI, 1.79-2.53]). Of 1839 survivors receiving treatment as captured in the EHR, 1405 (76.4%) were current drinkers, and among these, 170 (12.1%) exceeded moderate drinking, 329 (23.4%) reported binge drinking, and 540 (38.4%) engaged in hazardous drinking, with similar prevalence across different types of cancer treatment. Conclusions and Relevance: This cross-sectional study of a diverse US cohort suggests that alcohol consumption and risky drinking behaviors were common among cancer survivors, even among individuals receiving treatment. Given the adverse treatment and oncologic outcomes associated with alcohol consumption, additional research and implementation studies are critical in addressing this emerging concern among cancer survivors..

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)E2328328
JournalJAMA Network Open
Issue number8
StatePublished - Aug 10 2023


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