Home > Public awareness of the link between alcohol and cancer in England in 2015: a population-based survey.

Buykx, Penny and Li, Jessica and Gavens, Lucy and Hooper, Lucie and Lovatt, Melanie and Gomes de Matos, Elena and Meier, Petra and Holmes, John [Biomed Central] . (2016) Public awareness of the link between alcohol and cancer in England in 2015: a population-based survey. BioMed Central. BMC Public Health, 16 (1194) DOI: 10.1186/s12889-016-3855-6

URL: http://bmcpublichealth.biomedcentral.com/articles/...

Background
Public knowledge of the association between alcohol and cancer is reported to be low. We aimed to provide up-to-date evidence for England regarding awareness of the link between alcohol and different cancers and to determine whether awareness differs by demographic characteristics, alcohol use, and geographic region.

Methods
A representative sample of 2100 adults completed an online survey in July 2015. Respondents were asked to identify which health outcomes, including specific cancers, may be caused by alcohol consumption. Logistic regressions explored whether demographic, alcohol use, and geographic characteristics predicted correctly identifying alcohol-related cancer risk.

Results
Unprompted, 12.9% of respondents identified cancer as a potential health outcome of alcohol consumption. This rose to 47% when prompted (compared to 95% for liver disease and 73% for heart disease). Knowledge of the link between alcohol and specific cancers varied between 18% (breast) and 80% (liver). Respondents identified the following cancers as alcohol-related where no such evidence exists: bladder (54%), brain (32%), ovarian (17%). Significant predictors of awareness of the link between alcohol and cancer were being female, more highly educated, and living in North-East England.

Conclusion
There is generally low awareness of the relationship between alcohol consumption and cancer, particularly breast cancer. Greater awareness of the relationship between alcohol and breast cancer in North-East England, where a mass media campaign highlighted this relationship, suggests that population awareness can be influenced by social marketing.


Item Type:Evidence resource
Publication Type:Other
Drug Type:Alcohol
Intervention Type:AOD disorder harm reduction, Education and training
Source:Biomed Central
Date:November 2016
Publisher:BioMed Central
Volume:16
Number:1194
EndNote:View
Subjects:A Substance use, abuse, and dependence > Prevalence > Substance use behaviour > Alcohol consumption
B Substances > Alcohol
F Concepts in psychology > Attitude and behaviour > Attitude toward substance use
G Health and disease > State of health > Physical health
G Health and disease > Public health
J Health care, prevention and rehabilitation > Prevention approach > Prevention through information and education
J Health care, prevention and rehabilitation > Health related prevention > Health information and education
N Communication, information and education > Information use and impact
N Communication, information and education > Information transfer > Information transfer from research to practice
VA Geographic area > Europe > United Kingdom > England

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