Associations between alcohol consumption and anxiety, depression, and health-related quality of life in colorectal cancer survivors

D. Revesz*, M.J.L. Bours, J.A. Wegdam, E.T.P. Keulen, S.O. Breukink, G.D. Slooter, F.J. Vogelaar, M.P. Weijenberg, F. Mols

*Corresponding author for this work

Research output: Contribution to journalArticleAcademicpeer-review


Purpose Alcohol consumption is a major risk factor for colorectal cancer (CRC). It is currently poorly understood, however, how alcohol and different alcoholic beverage types are related to psychosocial outcomes in CRC survivors. Methods We used data of N = 910 CRC survivors from the pooled EnCoRe and PROCORE cohorts and harmonized them into five time points: at diagnosis and 3, 6, 12, and 24 months post-diagnosis. Generalized estimated equation models were used to examine longitudinal associations of alcohol consumption, including consumption of beer, wine, and liquor, with anxiety, depression, and health-related quality of life (HRQoL), while correcting for sociodemographic, lifestyle, and clinical factors. Results Survivors were on average 67 years and 37% was female. In the first 2 years post-diagnosis, survivors who consumed more alcoholic drinks/week reported lower anxiety and depressive symptoms and better HRQoL on all domains and symptom scales. This was the case for moderate and heavy amounts of alcohol and mostly for consuming beer and wine, but not for liquor. Associations were more often significant for men and for younger persons (< 67 years at baseline). Conclusions Generally, alcohol consumption was observed to be longitudinally related to less anxiety and depression and better HRQoL in CRC survivors. Implications for Cancer Survivors Although alcohol consumption is generally unfavorable due to increased risk of carcinogenesis and worse prognosis after CRC, it seems to be associated with better psychosocial outcomes in the first 2 years after diagnosis and treatment. More research is needed to gain knowledge about reasons for drinking and causality.
Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)988-997
Number of pages10
JournalJournal of Cancer Survivorship-Research and Practice
Issue number5
Early online date16 Sept 2021
Publication statusPublished - Oct 2022


  • Alcohol drinking
  • Anxiety
  • Cancer survivors
  • Colorectal cancer
  • Depression
  • Oncology
  • Quality of life


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