Format

Send to

Choose Destination
Am J Med. 2016 Feb;129(2):180-186.e4. doi: 10.1016/j.amjmed.2015.10.013. Epub 2015 Oct 30.

Moderate Alcohol Consumption Is Not Associated with Reduced All-cause Mortality.

Author information

1
Department of Epidemiology, Biostatistics, and Occupational Health, McGill University, Montreal, Canada; Royal Liverpool University Hospital, Liverpool, United Kingdom. Electronic address: robertgoulden@hotmail.com.

Abstract

BACKGROUND:

A large body of research suggests that light or moderate alcohol consumption is associated with reduced all-cause mortality. However, concerns remain that the observed relationship is due to selection bias, misclassification of ex-drinkers, or residual confounding.

METHODS:

The association between alcohol consumption and all-cause mortality was analyzed using Cox regression. The analysis was performed using data from the Health and Retirement Study, a longitudinal cohort of 24,029 individuals from a nationally representative sample of US adults aged more than 50 years. Drinking level was based on alcohol consumption measured at 3 points over the 4 years before the start of follow-up. Occasional drinkers-those who reported drinking on at least 1 occasion, but always less than once per week-served as the reference category. There was extensive adjustment for sociodemographic variables, health status, and functional status.

RESULTS:

During 206,966 person-years of follow up, 7902 individuals died. No level of regular alcohol consumption was associated with reduced all-cause mortality. The hazard ratio and 95% confidence interval in fully adjusted analyses was 1.02 (0.94-1.11) for <7 drinks/week, 1.14 (1.02-1.28) for 7 to <14 drinks/week, 1.13 (0.96-1.35) for 14 to <21 drinks/week, and 1.45 (1.16-1.81) for ≥ 21 drinks/week.

CONCLUSIONS:

Moderate alcohol consumption is not associated with reduced all-cause mortality in older adults. The previously observed association may have been due to residual confounding.

KEYWORDS:

Alcohol; Cohort study; Health and Retirement Study; Mortality

PMID:
26524703
DOI:
10.1016/j.amjmed.2015.10.013
[Indexed for MEDLINE]

Supplemental Content

Full text links

Icon for Elsevier Science
Loading ...
Support Center