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BMJ. 2002 Jul 27;325(7357):191.

Alcohol consumption and mortality: modelling risks for men and women at different ages.

Author information

1
Medical Statistics Unit, London School of Hygiene and Tropical Medicine, London WC1E 7HT. ian.white@mrc-bsu.cam.ac.uk

Abstract

OBJECTIVE:

To estimate the relation between alcohol consumption and risk of death, the level of alcohol consumption at which risk is least, and how these vary with age and sex.

DESIGN:

Analysis using published systematic reviews and population data.

SETTING:

England and Wales in 1997.

MAIN OUTCOME MEASURES:

Death from any of the following causes: cancer of lip, oral cavity, pharynx, oesophagus, colon, rectum, liver, larynx, and breast, essential hypertension, coronary heart disease, stroke, cirrhosis, non-cirrhotic chronic liver disease, chronic pancreatitis, and injuries.

RESULTS:

A direct dose-response relation exists between alcohol consumption and risk of death in women aged 16-54 and in men aged 16-34. At older ages the relation is U shaped. The level at which the risk is lowest increases with age, reaching 3 units a week in women aged over 65 and 8 units a week in men aged over 65. The level at which the risk is increased by 5% above this minimum is 8 units a week in women aged 16-24 and 5 units a week in men aged 16-24, increasing to 20 and 34 units a week in women and men aged over 65, respectively.

CONCLUSIONS:

Substantially increased risks of all cause mortality can occur even in people drinking lower than recommended limits, and especially among younger people.

PMID:
12142306
PMCID:
PMC117446
[Indexed for MEDLINE]
Free PMC Article

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