The future burden of head and neck cancers attributable to modifiable behaviors in Australia: A pooled cohort study

Cancer Epidemiology, Biomarkers & PreventionLaaksonen MA, Canfell K, MacInnis RJ, et al. | July 02, 2021

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Since estimates of the future burden of cancer attributable to current modifiable causal exposures can guide cancer prevention, researchers sought to quantify future head and neck cancer burden in Australia attributable to individual and joint causal exposures and ascertain if these burdens vary between population subgroups. They used adjusted proportional hazards models to estimate the strength of the associations between exposures and head and neck cancer from pooled data from seven Australian cohorts (N = 367,058) linked to national cancer and death registries, as well as estimated exposure prevalence from 2017 to 2018 Australian National Health Survey. When men are compared to women, their alcohol-attributable burden is tripled and their smoking-attributable burden is doubled. The smoking-attributable burden is at least double for those who consume more than two alcoholic drinks daily or do less than 150 minutes of moderate or 75 minutes of vigorous activity weekly, as well as those who are under 65 years old, unmarried, have low or intermediate educational attainment, or have a lower socioeconomic status when compared to their counterparts. Investment in tobacco and alcohol control can prevent two-fifths of head and neck cancers in Australia.

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