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A new study links heavy alcohol consumption with a greater risk of developing lung cancer. The study included approximately 126,000 people who enrolled between 1978 and 1985, and were followed until 2008. The researchers found 1,852 people developed lung cancer during that time.

Having three or more alcoholic drinks a day increased lung cancer risk by 30 percent. Heavy beer consumption carried a slightly higher risk than wine and liquor, Medical News Today reports.

“Heavy drinking has multiple harmful effects, including cardiovascular complications and increased risk for lung cancer,” lead researcher Stanton Siu, MD, of Kaiser Permanente said in a news release. “We did not see a relationship between moderate drinking and lung cancer development.”

The researchers conclude that avoidance of any type of heavy alcohol intake may reduce the risk of lung cancer. The study was presented this week at CHEST 2011, the annual meeting of the American College of Chest Physicians.

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