Intake of acetaldehyde in alcoholic beverages, in Central Europe, might explain the high rate of alcohol-related diseases in these countries. We measured the acetaldehyde level in 30 samples of home-made spirits and 12 samples of industry-made spirits from four Central European countries, including 35 fruit-based and five grain-based spirits. Acetaldehyde was detected in all fruit-based spirits and in none of the grain-based spirits. Acetaldehyde levels were above 2000 μmol/l in 12 samples, 11 of which were home-made. In a multivariate analysis restricted to fruit-based spirits, however, the difference between home-made and industry-based spirits was not statistically significant. These results add evidence to the hypothesis that intake of acetaldehyde in alcoholic beverages, in Central Europe, contributes to the burden of alcohol-related disease, especially that of upper digestive tract cancers. The acetaldehyde level should be monitored and high-level exposure should be avoided.
- alcoholic beverages
- head and neck cancer
ASJC Scopus subject areas
- Public Health, Environmental and Occupational Health
- Cancer Research