Alcohol intake and risk of thyroid cancer: A meta-analysis of observational studies
Purpose The purpose of this study was to assess whether alcohol intake is associated with the risk of thyroid cancer by a meta-analysis of observational studies. Materials and Methods We searched PubMed and EMBASE in June of 2015 to locate eligible studies. We included observational studies such as cross-sectional studies, case-control studies, and cohort studies reporting odd ratios (ORs) or relative risk (RRs) with 95% confidence intervals (CIs). Results We included 33 observational studies with two cross-sectional studies, 20 case-controls studies, and 11 cohort studies, which involved a total of 7,725 thyroid cancer patients and 3,113,679 participants without thyroid cancer in the final analysis. In the fixed-effect model meta-analysis of all 33 studies, we found that alcohol intake was consistently associated with a decreased risk of thyroid cancer (OR or RR, 0.74; 95% CI, 0.67 to 0.83; I2=38.6%). In the subgroup meta-analysis by type of study, alcohol intake also decreased the risk of thyroid cancer in both case-control studies (OR, 0.77; 95% CI, 0.65 to 0.92; I2=29.5%; n=20) and cohort studies (RR, 0.70; 95% CI, 0.60 to 0.82; I2=0%; n=11). Moreover, subgroup meta-analyses by type of thyroid cancer, gender, amount of alcohol consumed, and methodological quality of study showed that alcohol intake was significantly associated with a decreased risk of thyroid cancer. Conclusion The current meta-analysis of observational studies found that, unlike most of other types of cancer, alcohol intake decreased the risk of thyroid cancer.