Relationship of Alcohol Consumption to All-Cause, Cardiovascular, and Cancer-Related Mortality in U.S. Adults

Bo Xi, Sreenivas P. Veeranki, Min Zhao, Chuanwei Ma, Yinkun Yan, Jie Mi

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Abstract

Background Previous studies have revealed inconsistent findings regarding the association of light to moderate alcohol consumption with cardiovascular disease (CVD) and cancer mortality. Objectives The aim of this study was to examine the association between alcohol consumption and risk of mortality from all causes, cancer, and CVD in U.S. adults. Methods Data were obtained by linking 13 waves of the National Health Interview Surveys (1997 to 2009) to the National Death Index records through December 31, 2011. A total of 333,247 participants ≥18 years of age were included. Self-reported alcohol consumption patterns were categorized into 6 groups: lifetime abstainers; lifetime infrequent drinkers; former drinkers; and current light, moderate, or heavy drinkers. Secondary exposure included participants’ binge-drinking status. The main outcome was all-cause, cancer, or CVD mortality. Results After a median follow-up of 8.2 years (2.7 million person-years), 34,754 participants died of all causes (including 8,947 CVD deaths and 8,427 cancer deaths). Compared with lifetime abstainers, those who were light or moderate alcohol consumers were at a reduced risk of mortality for all causes (light—hazard ratio [HR]: 0.79; 95% confidence interval [CI]: 0.76 to 0.82; moderate—HR: 0.78; 95% CI: 0.74 to 0.82) and CVD (light—HR: 0.74; 95% CI: 0.69 to 0.80; moderate—HR: 0.71; 95% CI: 0.64 to 0.78), respectively. In contrast, there was a significantly increased risk of mortality for all causes (HR: 1.11; 95% CI: 1.04 to 1.19) and cancer (HR: 1.27; 95% CI: 1.13 to 1.42) in adults with heavy alcohol consumption. Binge drinking ≥1 d/week was also associated with an increased risk of mortality for all causes (HR: 1.13; 95% CI: 1.04 to 1.23) and cancer (HR: 1.22; 95% CI: 1.05 to 1.41). Conclusions Light and moderate alcohol intake might have a protective effect on all-cause and CVD-specific mortality in U.S. adults. Heavy or binge drinking was associated with increased risk of all-cause and cancer-specific mortality.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)913-922
Number of pages10
JournalJournal of the American College of Cardiology
Volume70
Issue number8
DOIs
StatePublished - Aug 22 2017

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Keywords

  • abstain
  • binge drinking
  • cancer
  • cardiovascular disease
  • moderate drinking

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Cardiology and Cardiovascular Medicine

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