Latest scientific news 22 March 2022

Do wine drinkers live longer and have a lower risk of dying?

Unhealthy eating patterns are – besides smoking and a sedentary lifestyle – contributing to a higher risk of degenerative diseases and a higher risk to die from any cause (all-cause mortality). Various beverages, especially sugar-sweetened beverages have also been implicated in contributing to various health problems. The intake of alcoholic beverages, coffee and tea and their health effect is less clear.

A new study examined how alcohol from wine and non-wine alcoholic beverages as well as coffee and tea are related to mortality from all causes, cardiovascular diseases, cancer and non-cancer. The consumption was assessed in 354386 participants of the UK Biobank study.

Consumption of red wine and champagne as well as white wine was included as wine intake whereas all other alcoholic beverages – beer, cider, spirits, fortified wine and other alcoholic drinks – were put in the non-wine category.

When the risk of dying (hazard ratio for mortality) was assessed, a significant J-shaped association between wine intake and all-cause mortality was detected. Wine consumption with the lowest risk of death ranged from 19 to 23 g of alcohol/day (up to 250 ml wine) in all participants even when assessed separately in men and women. A similar significant relationship was found for cardiovascular mortality with the lowest risk between 19 g (women) and 21 g (men) of alcohol/day.

Furthermore, moderate wine intake was not significantly associated with cancer mortality.

In contrast, non-wine intake was significantly and positively related – in a dose-dependent manner – to all causes of death, except for cardiovascular disease in women and with the lowest risk between 0 and 12 g of alcohol/d.

In summary, light to moderate wine consumption but not other alcoholic beverages (non-wine) was related to a decreased risk of dying from any cause and was not related to increased cancer mortality.


With regards to the other 2 beverages studied: coffee consumption (2 cups/day) was not related to increased mortality and tea intake was associated with a consistently decreased risk of all causes of death studied.


Source: Schaefer SM, Kaiser A, Behrendt I, Eichner G, Fasshauer M. Association of alcohol types, coffee and tea intake with mortality: prospective cohort study of UK Biobank participants. Br J Nutr. 2022 Feb 3:1-11. doi. org/10.1017/S000711452200040X.

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