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Carbonated drinks do not raise esophageal cancer risk
by: Megan Rauscher

There is no association between the consumption of carbonated beverages and risk of subsequent development of esophageal adenocarcinoma 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.

Dr. Lagergren and two colleagues examined data from 189 patients with esophageal adenocarcinomas, 262 with cardia adenocarcinomas, and 820 controls. All subjects were interviewed about their previous carbonated beverage consumption.

The investigators report in the August 16th Journal of the National Cancer Institute that users of carbonated soft drinks were not at increased risk of esophageal adenocarcinomas compared with never users, irrespective of the frequency of consumption.

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 adenocarcinomas.

No association between intake of carbonated soft drinks or low-alcohol beer and risk of cardia adenocarcinoma 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," Dr. 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.

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