Neurological Sciences

, Volume 37, Issue 8, pp 1203–1208 | Cite as

Association between alcohol consumption and amyotrophic lateral sclerosis: a meta-analysis of five observational studies

  • Meng E
  • Sufang YuEmail author
  • Jianrui Dou
  • Wu Jin
  • Xiang Cai
  • Yiyang Mao
  • Daojian Zhu
  • Rumei Yang
Review Article


The purpose of this study is to examine the association between alcohol consumption and amyotrophic lateral sclerosis. Published literature on the association between alcohol consumption and amyotrophic lateral sclerosis was retrieved from the PubMed and Embase databases. Two authors independently extracted the data. The quality of the identified studies was evaluated according to the Newcastle–Ottawa scale. Subgroup and sensitivity analyses were performed and publication bias was assessed. Five articles, including one cohort study and seven case–control studies, and a total of 431,943 participants, were identified. The odds ratio for the association between alcohol consumption and amyotrophic lateral sclerosis was 0.57 (95 % confidence interval 0.51–0.64). Subgroup and sensitivity analyses confirmed the result. Evidence for publication bias was detected. Alcohol consumption reduced the risk of developing amyotrophic lateral sclerosis compared with non-drinking. Alcohol, therefore, has a potentially neuroprotective effect on the development of amyotrophic lateral sclerosis.


Amyotrophic lateral sclerosis Alcohol consumption Meta-analysis 


Compliance with ethical standards

Conflict of interest

We declare that we have no financial and personal relationships with other people or organizations that could inappropriately influence our work. There is no professional or other personal interest of any nature or kind in any product, service and/or company that could be construed as influencing the position presented in, or the review of, the manuscript entitled.


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Copyright information

© Springer-Verlag Italia 2016

Authors and Affiliations

  • Meng E
    • 1
    • 2
  • Sufang Yu
    • 2
    Email author
  • Jianrui Dou
    • 1
  • Wu Jin
    • 1
  • Xiang Cai
    • 1
  • Yiyang Mao
    • 1
  • Daojian Zhu
    • 1
  • Rumei Yang
    • 3
  1. 1.Yangzhou Center for Disease Control and PreventionYangzhouPeople’s Republic of China
  2. 2.Institute of Occupational Health and Environmental HealthShandong UniversityJinanPeople’s Republic of China
  3. 3.Yangzhou Hospital of Traditional Chinese MedicineYangzhouPeople’s Republic of China

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