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J Am Geriatr Soc. 1996 Sep;44(9):1030-7.

Alcohol consumption and risk of deep venous thrombosis and pulmonary embolism in older persons.

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  • 1Department of Internal Medicine and Geriatrics, Catholic University, Rome, Italy.



To assess whether low to moderate alcohol consumption decreases the risk of deep venous thrombosis and pulmonary embolism.


Prospective cohort study.


Three communities of the Established Populations for Epidemiologic Studies of the Elderly.


A total of 7959 persons aged 68 years or older.


The incidence of deep venous thrombosis and pulmonary embolism was assessed by surveying hospital discharge diagnoses and deaths from 1985 through 1992. Those participants who estimated they used alcohol less than 1 time, on average, in the past month, less than 1 ounce per day, and 1 ounce or more per day were compared with those who reported no alcohol intake in the past year. Age, gender, race, body mass index, smoking, education, income, disability, cognitive function, arterial pressure, medication use, baseline chronic conditions, number of hospital admissions in past year, and occurrence of disease during follow-up were examined as possible confounders.


During 48,038 person-years of follow-up, 155 events were observed (35 deep venous thromboses and 123 pulmonary emboli). Compared with non-drinkers, after adjusting for potential confounding variables, the relative risks (95% confidence interval) for deep venous thrombosis and pulmonary embolism associated with increasing alcohol consumption levels were 0.7 (0.4-1.1), 0.6 (0.4-0.9), and 0.5 (0.2-1.1), respectively (P for trend = .004). The results were unchanged after stratifying on health status and disability.


Low to moderate alcohol consumption is associated with a decreased risk of deep venous thrombosis and pulmonary embolism in older persons.

[PubMed - indexed for MEDLINE]
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