We investigated the association between alcohol consumption and colorectal cancer because previous studies have yielded conflicting results. As part of the Findrink study, data from the Kuopio Ischaemic Heart Disease (KIHD) Risk Factor Study were analysed. The KIHD study is a cohort of 2,682 men from Eastern Finland with no history of cancer at baseline. The men were grouped into five groups according to their weekly alcohol intake in grams. Association between alcohol and colorectal cancer was examined using Cox proportional hazard models. There were 59 cases of colorectal cancer during an average follow up of 16.7 years. Men within the highest quintile of alcohol consumption had a median weekly alcohol intake of 198.8 g. Age and examination year adjusted risk ratio of colorectal cancer among men within the highest quintile of alcohol consumption was 4.4 (95% CI: 1.6-11.9, P-value = 0.004). After adjusting for potential confounders, such as vegetable consumption, fibre intake, smoking, family history of cancer, socio-economic status, leisure time physical activity, men with the highest amount of alcohol consumption still had a 3.5-fold (95% CI: 1.2-9.9, P-value = 0.021) increased risk of colorectal cancer. Exclusion of men diagnosed with colorectal cancer during the first 2 years of follow up from the analyses did not alter the risk increase. In conclusion, this study gives further evidence of a positive association between alcohol consumption and the risk of colorectal cancer.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)395-401
Number of pages7
JournalEuropean Journal of Epidemiology
Issue number6
StatePublished - Jun 2008


  • Alcohol
  • Cohort study
  • Colorectal cancer


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