High Adherence to a Mediterranean Alcohol-Drinking Pattern and Mediterranean Diet Can Mitigate the Harmful Effect of Alcohol on Mortality Risk

Background: Alcohol is a psychoactive substance with deleterious effects on human health and mortality. This study aims to investigate the joint associations between the Mediterranean Diet (MedDiet), alcohol- consumption patterns and mortality from the following: all causes, cardiovascular, neoplastic, the digestive system, and other causes. Methods: A sample of 3411 alcohol consumers aged ≥18 years was selected from two prospective cohort studies: the MICOL and NUTRIHEP Study. Cohorts were enrolled in 2005–2006, and followed up until December 2022, capturing data on alcohol consumption, diet, and mortality. Adherence to the MedDiet was measured by the relative Mediterranean score (rMED), and alcohol consumption by the Mediterranean Alcohol-drinking Pattern index (MADP). Statistical analyses included flexible parametric survival models and subdistribution hazard ratios, to consider different causes of death. Results: a significant increase in digestive-system (SHR 2.77, 95% CI 1.16; 63) and cancer mortality risk (SHR 2.25, 95% CI 1.08; 4.70) was observed among individuals with low adherence to the MADP. Low adherence to the Mediterranean pattern of alcohol consumption, combined with low adherence to the MedDiet, was associated with higher overall mortality (HR 2.29, 95% CI 1.04, 5.04), and, in particular, with higher mortality from digestive system diseases (SHR 4.38, 95% CI 1.22, 15.8). Conclusions: This study suggests that deleterious effects of alcohol on mortality vary, depending on alcohol consumption patterns and dietary context. Higher adherence to the MedDiet appears to mitigate the adverse effects of moderate alcohol consumption, particularly for wine drinkers.

Additional Info

  • Authors

    Campanella Angelo; Bonfiglio Caterina; Cuccaro Francesco; Donghia Rossella; Tatoli Rossella; Giannelli Gianluigi
  • Issue

    Periodical: Nutrients - Volume: 16 - Number: 1
  • Published Date