European Journal of Epidemiology

, Volume 26, Issue 2, pp 81–90

The association between alcohol consumption and mortality: the Swedish women’s lifestyle and health study

  • Gundula Behrens
  • Michael F. Leitzmann
  • Sven Sandin
  • Marie Löf
  • Iris M. Heid
  • Hans-Olov Adami
  • Elisabete Weiderpass
MORTALITY

DOI: 10.1007/s10654-011-9545-x

Cite this article as:
Behrens, G., Leitzmann, M.F., Sandin, S. et al. Eur J Epidemiol (2011) 26: 81. doi:10.1007/s10654-011-9545-x

Abstract

Although light to moderate alcohol intake may reduce cardiovascular disease (CVD) mortality, the effect on total mortality requires further study, particularly among young and middle-aged women. We studied the association between alcohol consumption and mortality from all causes, from cancer, and from CVD in the Swedish Women’s Lifestyle and Health Study, a cohort of 47,921 female residents of Sweden aged 30–49 years at baseline in 1991/1992 and followed up to 2006. We estimated the relative risk (RR) of mortality associated with alcohol intake using Cox regression adjusted for age, smoking, BMI, saturated fat intake, physical activity, and education. During 713,295 person-years of follow-up, 1,119 deaths occurred, including 158 deaths from CVD, 673 deaths from cancer, and 288 deaths from other causes. Compared with non-drinking, light to moderate drinking (0.1–19.9 g of alcohol per day) showed a statistically significant inverse association with total mortality (RR = 0.83, 95% CI = 0.71–0.98). Analyses of cause-specific mortality revealed an RR for CVD mortality of 0.69 (95% CI = 0.46–1.01) and an RR for cancer mortality of 0.92 (95% CI = 0.75–1.15). These results suggest that in younger women, a possibly beneficial effect of light to moderate drinking on future risk of mortality is limited to a prevention of CVD mortality but not cancer mortality.

Keywords

Alcohol Mortality Women’s health Cohort study 

Supplementary material

10654_2011_9545_MOESM1_ESM.doc (125 kb)
Supplementary material 1 (DOC 125 kb)

Copyright information

© Springer Science+Business Media B.V. 2011

Authors and Affiliations

  • Gundula Behrens
    • 1
  • Michael F. Leitzmann
    • 1
  • Sven Sandin
    • 2
  • Marie Löf
    • 2
  • Iris M. Heid
    • 1
  • Hans-Olov Adami
    • 2
    • 3
  • Elisabete Weiderpass
    • 2
    • 4
    • 5
    • 6
  1. 1.Department of Epidemiology and Preventive MedicineRegensburg University Medical CenterRegensburgGermany
  2. 2.Department of Medical Epidemiology and BiostatisticsKarolinska InstitutetStockholmSweden
  3. 3.Department of EpidemiologyHarvard School of Public HealthBostonUSA
  4. 4.Cancer Registry of NorwayOsloNorway
  5. 5.Department of Community MedicineTromsoNorway
  6. 6.Program on Genetic Research, Folkhälsan Research CenterUniversity of HelsinkiHelsinkiFinland

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