To conduct a meta-analysis of observational studiesreporting the consumption of hot food and beverages in patients with esophageal cancer, and thus provide a quantitative estimate of the risk of esophageal cancer associated with the consumption of hot food and drink.
A search was conducted through Medline, PubMed, Embase, and Current Contents Connect to May 20, 2012. Pooled odds ratios and 95% confidence intervals were calculated using a random effects model for the risk of esophageal cancer associated with the consumption of hot food and drink. Subgroup analyses were also conducted for the two histological types of esophageal cancer, namely esophageal squamous cell carcinoma (ESCC) and esophageal adenocarcinoma (EAC). A separate subgroup analysis was then performed for the risk of ESCC, using only the studies that adjusted for tobacco smoking and alcohol consumption, two well-recognised risk factors for that disease.
Consumption of hot food and drink was associated with an increased risk of developing any esophageal cancer, with an odds ratio (OR) of 1.86 and a 95% confidence interval (CI) of 1.39 to 2.48. Heterogeneity was observed. There was an increased risk of ESCC associated with consumption of hot food and drink (OR 2.29; 95% CI 1.79 to 2.93), which remained even after adjusting for significant confounding variables (OR 2.39; 95% CI 1.71 to 3.33). The relationship was not significant for EAC (OR 0.78; 95% CI 0.45 to 1.35).
The consumption of hot food and beverages was associated with an increased risk of esophageal cancer overall, and in particular with ESCC. The association remained even after adjusting for important confounders.