28 april 2024

Alcohol consumption and accelerated biological ageing in middle-aged and older people: A longitudinal study from two cohorts

BACKGROUND AND AIMS: The relationship between alcohol consumption and age-related diseases is inconsistent. Biological age (BA) serves as both a precursor and a predictor of age-related diseases; however, longitudinal associations between alcohol consumption and BA in middle-aged and older people remain unclear. We measured whether there was a longitudinal association between drinking frequency and pure alcohol intake with BA among middle-aged and older people.

DESIGN AND SETTING AND PARTICIPANTS: This study involved two prospective cohort studies, set in Southwestern China and the United Kingdom. A total of 8046 participants from the China Multi-Ethnic Cohort study (CMEC) and 5412 participants from the UK Biobank (UKB), aged 30-79 years, took part, with complete data from two waves of clinical biomarkers.

MEASUREMENTS: BA was calculated by the Klemera Doubal’s method. Accelerated BA equalled BA minus chronological age. Drinking frequency and pure alcohol intake were obtained through self-reported questionnaires. Drinking frequency in the past year was classified as current non-drinking, occasional (monthly drinking) and regular (weekly drinking).

FINDINGS: Compared with consistent current non-drinkers, more frequent drinkers [CMEC: beta = 0.46, 95% confidence interval (CI) = 0.13-0.80; UKB: beta = 0.65, 95% CI = 0.01-1.29)], less frequent drinkers (CMEC: beta = 0.62, 95% CI = 0.37-0.87; UKB: beta = 0.54, 95% CI = -0.01-1.09), consistent occasional drinkers (CMEC: beta = 0.51, 95% CI = 0.23-0.79; UKB: beta = 0.63, 95% CI = 0.13-1.13) and consistent regular drinkers (CMEC: beta = 0.56, 95% CI = 0.17-0.95; UKB: beta = 0.46, 95% CI = 0.00-0.91) exhibited increased accelerated BA. A non-linear relationship between pure alcohol intake and accelerated BA was observed among consistent regular drinkers.

CONCLUSIONS: In middle-aged and older people, any change in drinking frequency and any amount of pure alcohol intake seem to be positively associated with acceleration of biological ageing, compared with maintaining abstinence.

Additional Info

  • Authors

    Chen H.; Yin J.; Xiang Y.; Zhang N.; Huang Z.; Zhang Y.; Tang D.; Wang Z.; Baimayangji; Chen L.; Jiang X.; Xiao X.; Zhao X.
  • Issue

    Periodical: Addiction - Edition: 20240428
  • Published Date

    28 april 2024