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Alcohol Alcohol. 2006 Nov-Dec;41(6):664-71. Epub 2006 Oct 18.

Average volume of alcohol consumed, type of beverage, drinking pattern and the risk of death from all causes.

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Cancer Epidemiology Centre, The Cancer Council of Victoria, Carlton Vic 3053, Melbourne, Australia.



The objective was to investigate associations between average volume of alcohol consumption, type of beverage and drinking pattern and all-cause mortality in the Melbourne Collaborative Cohort Study.


Average consumption, including type of beverage, was estimated from beverage-specific questions on quantity and frequency of consumption. Pattern of consumption was estimated from a 7-day diary. During an average of 10.5 years of follow-up of 36 984 participants, 1971 deaths occurred.


For both men and women, mortality curves were J-shaped (nadir at 9-12 g/day of alcohol consumption; upper protective dose of 42-76 g/day). Wine consumption was associated with lower mortality (for men, minimum hazard ratio (HR) at 20-39 g/day of wine consumption: 0.69; 95% confidence interval (CI): 0.54-0.87; for women, minimum HR at 1-19 g/day: 0.82; 95% CI: 0.70-0.98). Beer was associated with an increased risk for men (test for trend, P = 0.05), but not for women. After adjustment for total amount of alcohol consumed, the number of drinking-days was inversely associated with the risk of dying in men (P-trend = 0.04).


These results confirm previous findings about the effect of average volume of alcohol and type of beverage and suggest that drinking pattern is an independent risk factor for all-cause mortality.

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