Latest scientific news 17 June 2015

Drinking habits and mortality – Chinese adults also benefit from moderate consumption of alcoholic beverages

The J-shaped association between the consumption of alcoholic beverages and mortality was confirmed in Singapore Chinese adults.

Beverage intake is one of the most habitual dietary behaviors across cultures and populations, however, limited research exists examining drinking/beverage patterns and its relation to mortality risk. In the prospective Singapore Chinese Health Study more than 52.500 Chinese men and women were questioned about their eating and drinking habits and followed up for 16 years. The results confirmed the J-shaped relationship – known from Western countries –and consequently, showed a significantly reduced mortality risk when consuming alcoholic beverages moderately (0-7 drinks/week for women and 0-14 drinks/week for men). A heavy intake of alcoholic beverages did not provide any benefits for non-smokers and the mortality risk increased significantly in smokers and ex-smokers. This study thus highlights how moderate intake of alcoholic beverages can positively associate with longevity and how smoking in combination with too much alcohol can be detrimental to health.

Odegaard AO, Koh WP, Yuan JM Pereira MA, Beverage habits and mortality in Chinese adults, J Nutr 2015;145: 595-604

For more information about this article, read the scientific abstract here.