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Addiction. 2004 Jan;99(1):109-16.

Different measures of alcohol consumption and risk of coronary heart disease and all-cause mortality: 11-year follow-up of the Whitehall II Cohort Study.

Author information

1
Department of Epidemiology and Public Health, University College London, UK. a.britton@public-health.ucl.ac.uk

Abstract

AIMS:

To investigate the relationship between three measures of alcohol consumption obtained simultaneously in a large cohort and the validated risk of coronary heart disease and all-cause mortality during follow-up.

DESIGN:

Prospective cohort study with median follow-up of 11 years.

SETTING:

The Whitehall II Cohort Study: London-based civil service.

PARTICIPANTS:

A total of 10,308 (33% female) civil servants aged 35-55 years at baseline (1985-88).

MEASUREMENTS:

Self-reported volume of alcohol consumed during past week, frequency of drinking over past year, usual amount consumed per drinking session.

MAIN OUTCOME MEASURES:

Coronary heart disease and all-cause mortality until 1999.

FINDINGS:

A U-shaped relationship was found between volume of alcohol consumed per week and outcome. Compared to those who drank moderately (10-80 g alcohol per week), non-drinkers and those drinking more than 248 g per week had approximately a twofold increased risk of mortality. The optimal frequency of drinking was between once or twice a week and daily, after adjustment for average volume consumed per week. Those drinking twice a day or more had an increased risk of mortality (male hazard ratio 2.44 95% CI 1.31-4.52) compared to those drinking once or twice a week. Drinking only once a month or only on special occasions had a 50% increased risk of mortality. The usual amount consumed per drinking session was not indicative of increased health risk in this cohort.

CONCLUSIONS:

Epidemiological studies should collect information on frequency of drinking in addition to average volume consumed in order to inform sensible drinking advice.

PMID:
14678069
[Indexed for MEDLINE]

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