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Fizzy drinks do not raise esophagus cancer risk

Written by: Staff
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NEW YORK, Sept 2 (Reuters) There is no association between the use of carbonated beverages and risk of subsequent development of cancer of the esophagus as assessed 20 years after the exposure, according to a large population-based study.

''The previously suggested link between the increased use of carbonated soft drinks and the increased occurrence of esophageal adenocarcinoma in western societies was not confirmed in this study,'' study co-author Dr Jesper Lagergren, of the Karolinska Institutet, Stockholm, told Reuters Health.

Lagergren and two colleagues examined data from 189 patients with cancer of the esophagus, 262 with cancer of the cardia -- the place where the stomach and esophagus meet -- as well as in 820 cancer-free controls. All subjects were interviewed about their previous carbonated beverage consumption.

Users of carbonated soft drinks were not at increased risk of esophagus cancer compared with never users, irrespective of the frequency of consumption, the authors report.

Among high consumers, defined as drinking carbonated soft drinks more than six times per week, there was a trend toward decreased risk of these cancers compared with never users.

Similarly, consumption of carbonated low-alcohol beer did not increase the risk of esophageal cancer.

No association between intake of carbonated soft drinks or low-alcohol beer and risk of cancer of the cardia was observed.

''This study gives no support for the hypothesis that the use of carbonated soft drinks contributes to the increasing incidence of this cancer,'' Lagergren and colleagues conclude.

''The fact that risk estimates did not change after adjustment for gastroesophageal reflux or obesity -- the suggested mechanisms -- provides further evidence against the hypothesis,'' they add.

REUTERS PDM DS1005

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