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Two genetic variants that alter alcohol metabolism, ALDH2-rs671 and ADH1B-rs1229984, can modify oesophageal cancer risk associated with alcohol consumption in East Asians, but their associations with other cancers remain uncertain. ALDH2-rs671 G>A and ADH1B-rs1229984 G>A were genotyped in 150 722 adults, enrolled from 10 areas in China during 2004 to 2008. After 11 years' follow-up, 9339 individuals developed cancer. Cox regression was used to estimate hazard ratios (HRs) for site-specific cancers associated with these genotypes, and their potential interactions with alcohol consumption. Overall, the A-allele frequency was 0.21 for ALDH2-rs671 and 0.69 for ADH1B-rs1229984, with A-alleles strongly associated with lower alcohol consumption. Among men, ALDH2-rs671 AA genotype was associated with HR of 0.69 (95% confidence interval: 0.53-0.90) for IARC alcohol-related cancers (n = 1900), compared to GG genotype. For ADH1B-rs1229984, the HRs of AG and AA vs GG genotype were 0.80 (0.69-0.93) and 0.75 (0.64-0.87) for IARC alcohol-related cancers, 0.61 (0.39-0.96) and 0.61 (0.39-0.94) for head and neck cancer (n = 196) and 0.68 (0.53-0.88) and 0.60 (0.46-0.78) for oesophageal cancer (n = 546). There were no significant associations of these genotypes with risks of liver (n = 651), colorectal (n = 556), stomach (n = 725) or lung (n = 1135) cancers. Among male drinkers, the risks associated with higher alcohol consumption were greater among ALDH2-rs671 AG than GG carriers for head and neck, oesophageal and lung cancers (Pinteraction  

Original publication




Journal article


Int J Cancer

Publication Date





1627 - 1639


ADH1B, ALDH2, China, alcohol, cancer, Adult, Alcohol Dehydrogenase, Alcohol Drinking, Aldehyde Dehydrogenase, Aldehyde Dehydrogenase, Mitochondrial, Asian People, Esophageal Neoplasms, Female, Genotype, Humans, Male, Polymorphism, Single Nucleotide, Prospective Studies, Risk Factors