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August 19, 1974

Medical News

JAMA. 1974;229(8):1023-1037. doi:10.1001/jama.1974.03230460001001

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Heavy drinking adds to the risk of cancers of mouth and throat  Excessive use of alcohol and certain cancers are importantly related, the National Institute on Alcohol Abuse and Alcoholism says in its second report to Congress."A heavy drinker above Anstie's limit (see box) who does not smoke has approximately the same increased risk of developing cancer of the mouth and throat as a heavy smoker (more than two packs a day) who does not drink," said Morris E. Chafetz, MD, the institute's director. "When heavy drinking and heavy smoking are combined, the risk jumps enormously—to 15 times greater than among people who neither drink or smoke."On the other hand, the report states there is no evidence that moderate use of alcohol is harmful to health. Indeed, moderate drinkers, as a statistical group, live longer than abstainers or exdrinkers."Moderate alcohol use may be physically, psychologically, and