Alcohol consumption and risk of incident heart failure in older men: a prospective cohort study

AIMS: Light-to-moderate drinking has been associated with reduced risk of heart failure (HF). We have examined the association between alcohol consumption and incident HF in older British men.

METHODS AND RESULTS: Prospective studyA prospective study (sometimes called a prospective cohort study) is a type of cohort study or grou... of 3530 men aged 60-79 years with no diagnosed HF or myocardial infarction (MI) at baseline and followed up for a mean period of 11 years, in whom there were 198 incident HF cases. Men were divided into 6 categories of alcohol consumption: none, <1, 1-6, 7-13, 14-34 and >/=35 drinks/week. There was no evidence that light-to-moderate drinking is beneficial for risk of HF. Heavy drinking (>/=35 drinks/week) was associated with significantly increased risk of HF. Using the large group of men drinking 1-6 drinks/week as the reference group, the relative HRs (95% confidence interval) for HF adjusted for age, lifestyle characteristics, blood pressure, atrial fibrillation and renal dysfunction were 0.97 (0.59 to 1.63), 1.39 (0.86 to 2.25), 1.00, 0.94 (0.64 to 1.43), 1.16 (0.78 to 1.71) and 1.91 (1.02 to 3.56) for the 6 alcohol groups, respectively. The increased risk associated with heavy drinking was attenuated after adjustment for N-terminal pro-brain natriuretic peptide (NT-proBNP) (HR=1.43 (0.76 to 1.69)). Stratified analysis showed heavy drinking was associated with increased HF risk only in those with ECG evidence of myocardial ischaemia.

CONCLUSIONS: There was no evidence that light-to-moderate drinking is beneficial for the prevention of HF in older men without a history of an MI. Heavier drinking (>/=5 drinks/day), however, was associated with increased risk of HF in vulnerable men with underlying myocardial ischaemia.

Additional Info

  • Authors

    Wannamethee S.G.; Whincup P.H.; Lennon L.; Papacosta O.; Shaper A.G.
  • Issue

    Open.Heart / pages e000266-
  • Published Date