30 april 2009

Long-term wine consumption is related to cardiovascular mortality and life expectancy independently of moderate alcohol intake: theZutphen Study

BACKGROUND: Light to moderate alcohol intake lowers therisk of cardiovascular mortality, but whether thisprotective effect can be attributed to a specific type ofbeverage remains unclear. Moreover, little is known aboutthe effects of long-term alcohol intake on life expectancy.

METHODS: The impact of long-term alcohol intake and typesof alcoholic beverages consumed on cardiovascular mortalityand life expectancy at age 50 was investigated in theZutphen Study, a cohort of 1373 men born between 1900and 1920 and examined repeatedly between 1960 and2000. Hazard ratios (HRs) for total alcohol intake and alcoholfrom wine, beer and spirits were obtained from timedependentCox regression models. Life expectancy at age 50was calculated from areas under survival curves.

RESULTS: Long-term light alcohol intake, that is (20 gper day, compared with no alcohol, was strongly andinversely associated with cerebrovascular (HR 0.43, 95%CI 0.26 to 0.70), total cardiovascular (HR 0.70, 95% CI0.55 to 0.89) and all-cause mortality (HR 0.75, 95% CI0.63 to 0.91). Independent of total alcohol intake, longtermwine consumption of, on average, less than half aglass per day was strongly and inversely associated withcoronary heart disease (HR 0.61, 95% CI 0.41 to 0.89),total cardiovascular (HR 0.68, 95% CI 0.53 to 0.86) andall-cause mortality (HR 0.73, 95% CI 0.62 to 0.87). Theseresults could not be explained by differences in socioeconomicstatus. Life expectancy was about 5 yearslonger in men who consumed wine compared with thosewho did not use alcoholic beverages.

CONCLUSION: Long-term light alcohol intake loweredcardiovascular and all-cause mortality risk and increasedlife expectancy. Light wine consumption was associatedwith 5 years longer life expectancy; however, morestudies are needed to verify this result.

Additional Info

  • Authors

    Streppel M.T.; Ocke M.C.; Boshuizen H.C.; Kok F.J.; Kromhout D.
  • Issue

    J.Epidemiol.Community Health / pages 534-40 / volume 63(7)
  • Published Date

    30 april 2009