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Am J Hypertens. 2009 Nov;22(11):1212-8. doi: 10.1038/ajh.2009.172. Epub 2009 Sep 3.

Alcohol consumption, hypertension, and total mortality among women.

Author information

  • 1University of Pittsburgh, Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania, USA. freibergms@upmc.edu

Abstract

BACKGROUND:

Moderate alcohol consumption is associated with a reduced risk of total mortality among Caucasian women. Whether moderate alcohol consumption is associated with a reduced risk of total mortality among African-American or hypertensive women is unclear.

METHODS:

We conducted a prospective study among 10,576 black and 105,610 white postmenopausal women from the Women's Health Initiative (WHI), without a history of cancer or cardiovascular disease, who completed the baseline examinations in 1994-1998.

RESULTS:

During the mean 8 years of follow-up, 5,608 women died. Moderate drinking (1 to <7 drinks/week) was associated with a lower risk of total mortality among Caucasians (hazard ratio (HR) = 0.81, 95% confidence interval (CI) = 0.72-0.91) and hypertensives (HR = 0.76, 95% CI = 0.65-0.87) as compared with lifetime abstention from alcohol. Among African-American moderate drinkers the risk of total mortality was HR = 0.94, 95% CI = 0.67-1.3. Current drinking (<1 drink/month or greater) was associated with a lower risk of mortality among Caucasians, including hypertensives and nonhypertensives, and hypertensive African Americans (HR = 0.74, 95% CI = 0.54-0.99) but not among nonhypertensive African Americans (HR = 1.31, 95% CI = 0.79-2.16). The stratified comparisons among African Americans were affected by the low prevalence of moderate drinking (14.6%) and the low mortality rate (37.5/10,000) among the nonhypertensive lifetime abstainers.

CONCLUSION:

Moderate drinking is associated with a lower risk of total mortality among Caucasian women. Current drinking is associated with a lower risk of total mortality among Caucasians, regardless of hypertensive status, and hypertensive but not nonhypertensive African-American women. The latter observation was affected by the low mortality rate among the African-American nonhypertensive lifetime abstainers.

PMID:
19730413
[PubMed - indexed for MEDLINE]
PMCID:
PMC3104852
Free PMC Article
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