Latest scientific news 25 February 2016

Lower all-cause mortality in Swedish women with light drinking

In this prospective study among Swedish women was a clear J-shaped relation between the amount of alcoholic beverages and mortality from all causes.

Alcohol abuse contributes to many negative health consequences and increases mortality. On the other hand, many prospective cohort studies suggest a J-shaped relationship between the level of alcohol consumption and all-cause mortality. Critics have questioned the J-shaped curve and suggested it may be due to confounders.

Swedish researchers thus analyzed the relationship between self-reported alcohol intake and all-cause mortality in women. A total of 6353 participants, aged 50–59 years at baseline, were followed for 17 years.

The consumption of alcoholic beverages showed a clear J-shaped relation with mortality, even after controlling for confounding factors such as education, marital status, smoking, BMI, physical fitness, diabetes and ischemic heart disease before screening. It was concluded that the observed protective effect of light drinking (1-12 g/day) could not be attributed to any of these known confounders.

Midlöv P, Calling S, Memon AA, Sundquist J, Sundquist K, Johansson S-E.  Women’s health in the Lund area (WHILA) – Alcohol consumption and all-cause mortality among women – a 17 year follow-up study.  Pre-publication: BMC Public Health 2016;16:22. DOI 10.1186/s12889-016-2700-2

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