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Wednesday, July 20, 2011

Critique 048: A new report on drinking guidelines and the association of alcohol with risk of cancer — 18 July 2011

Alcohol consumption and cancer risk: revisiting guidelines for sensible drinking. CMAJ 2011. DOI:10.1503. /cmaj.110363

Comments on the CMAJ alcohol and cancer report:
Forum members considered that the current report contains many statements not consistent with current scientific research. If the paper was referred to as an “editorial” or “comments,” the authors would obviously be free to advise whatever drinking guidelines they wish. But this paper appears in a reputable journal, and the article is labeled “Analysis,” yet does not reflect current sound scientific data. The report is highly selective in finding a few publications that describe “methodological bias of most studies mentioning an apparent reduction of risk, such as nutritional, lifestyle or social confounders or the inclusion of people who used to consume alcohol, but no longer do, in the reference group.” The authors of this report ignore the considerable data from more scientifically sound research that have largely discredited such studies, as summarized recently by Fuller.
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