Following on from a the widely publicized research by Brooks PJ in 2009 linking alcohol flush reaction to cancer, many government agencies were quick to issue stern warnings about the dangers of drinking alcohol with ALDH2 deficiency.
Now 10 years on, a team of scientists from China and Sweden have reexamined the issue of whether there is an augmented risk of Esophagael Cancer is individuals with ALDH2 deficiency.
The 2018 study performed a population-based case-control study in a city in China that exhibited a high incidence of esophageal squamous cell carcinoma (ESCC) cases.
They did this by enrolling 1,190 cases of people with ESCC and 1,883 control patients, in order to confirm the complicated relationship between alcohol, ALDH2 deficiency and ESCC risk.
We confirmed two ESCC susceptibility loci, rs671 in ALDH2 and rs1042026 in ADH1B, which significantly altered alcohol consumption behavior, and subsequently modified the association between alcohol consumption and ESCC risk. The rs671[A] allele was associated with ESCC risk in alcohol drinkers (adjusted odds ratio [aOR] =1.98, 95% confidence intervals [CI]=1.51-2.60) but not in non-drinkers.
The results confirmed the 2009 findings that there is indeed a link between ALDH2 deficiency and ESCC risk and reiterated the need in preventing excessive alcohol use, especially in ALDH2 deficient individuals.
This conclusion echoes the views of many government agencies including NIH and the International Agency for Research on Cancer.
For more information about these warning, please refer to our initial article about the Asian flush cancer risk.