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Reducing alcohol consumption may decrease the incidence of colon cancer in people with a family history of the cancer, a new study suggests.

The study was based on more than 87,000 women and 47,000 men in the Nurses’ Health Study and the Health Professionals Follow-up Study. The researchers found a total of 1,801 colon cancer cases among this group over 26 years of follow-up.

The researchers report in the American Journal of Clinical Nutrition that people with a family history of colon cancer, whose average alcohol intake was about two-and-a-half drinks a day, had an increased risk of colon cancer. People at greatest risk also ate the most red meat, smoked the most, and had the lowest folate intake, which suggested they ate fewer cereals and green vegetables, according to Medical News Today.

There was not a significant association between colon cancer and alcohol among people without a family history of the disease.

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