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

TitleModerate Alcohol Consumption Is Not Associated with Reduced All-cause Mortality
Publication TypeJournal Article
Year of Publication2016
AuthorsGoulden, R
JournalThe American Journal of Medicine
Pagination180 186.e4
KeywordsHealth Conditions and Status, Methodology

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 andlt;7 drinks/week, 1.14 (1.02-1.28) for 7 to andlt;14 drinks/week, 1.13 (0.96-1.35) for 14 to andlt;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.

Endnote Keywords

Alcohol/Cohort study/Health and Retirement Study/Mortality

Endnote ID


Citation Key8390