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Public Health Nutr. 2011 Nov;14(11):1907-18. doi: 10.1017/S1368980011000863. Epub 2011 Jun 1.

Renal impairment and moderate alcohol consumption in the elderly. Results from the Italian Longitudinal Study on Aging (ILSA).

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  • 1Department of Environmental Medicine and Public Health, University of Padua, Via Loredan 18, 35128 Padua, Italy.



The influence of moderate alcohol consumption on renal function is not clear in elderly people. The aim of the present study was to investigate the relationship between alcohol consumption and renal function, expressed as serum creatinine levels and glomerular filtration rates (GFR), in an elderly population.


Perspective cohort study.


Population-based study on an elderly Italian population.


A sample of 3404 Italian people (1619 women and 1785 men), aged 65-84 years, from the Italian Longitudinal Study on Aging (ILSA).


Prevalence and cumulative risk of impaired renal function (defined as GFR ≤ 60 ml/min) were estimated by sex and alcohol consumption groups. Logistic regression analysis adjusting for confounders (age, education, smoking, BMI and medications) and intermediate factors (blood cholesterol and fibrinogen, systolic hypertension and diabetes) showed that alcohol consumption level was not significantly related to the prevalence of mild renal impairment in elderly women. In men, both prevalence and incidence results seemed to suggest an inverse linear relationship between moderate alcohol consumption and the risk of mild renal impairment. A U-shaped association was shown for women at the incidence phase, suggesting a higher risk of developing renal impairment for women who drink more than 24 g alcohol/d.


Our results suggest that, in accordance with the recommendations on alcohol consumption in the elderly, moderate quantities of alcohol are not injurious to renal function in elderly men.

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