Quality of Life Research

, Volume 25, Issue 8, pp 1931–1942 | Cite as

Relationship of moderate alcohol intake and type of beverage with health behaviors and quality of life in elderly subjects

  • Elizabeth González-Rubio
  • Ismael San Mauro
  • Cristina López-Ruíz
  • Ligia E. Díaz-Prieto
  • Ascensión Marcos
  • Esther NovaEmail author



This work was aimed to study the relationships of moderate alcohol intake and the type of beverages consumed with health behaviors and quality of life in elderly people.


In this observational study, 231 subjects (55–85 years) voluntarily answering to advertisements were enrolled and divided in three study groups: abstainers and occasional consumers (ABS; n = 98), moderate drinkers of beer (BEER; n = 63) and moderate drinkers of all sorts of alcoholic beverages (MIXED; n = 70). Variables assessed included physical activity, activities of daily living, Mediterranean diet-adherence score, tobacco consumption, quality of sleep, body composition, medication and perception of health through the SF-36 questionnaire. Their relationship with alcohol consumption was assessed through general linear models including confounding variables (age, sex, chronic disease prevalence and socioeconomic status). ABS were also compared to moderate drinkers (MOD = BEER + MIXED).


The mean daily alcohol consumption in each group was (mean ± SD): ABS: 0.7 ± 1.1; BEER: 12.7 ± 8.1; MIXED: 13.9 ± 10.2 g/day. MOD and MIXED showed significantly higher physical activity (metabolic standard units; METs) than ABS (p = 0.023 and p = 0.004, respectively). MOD spent significantly less time doing housework activities than ABS (p = 0.032). Daily grams of alcohol consumption were significantly associated with METs (B = 21.727, p = 0.023). Specifically, wine consumption (g/day) was associated with METs (B = 46.196, p = <0.001) and showed borderline significant relationships with mental health (B = 0.245, p = 0.062) and vitality perception (B = 0.266, p = 0.054).


Moderate alcohol consumption, and in particular wine consumption, is associated with a more active lifestyle and better perception of own health in the Spanish elderly subjects studied.


Moderate alcohol consumption Physical activity Quality of life Health behaviors Elderly 



Physical activity


Metabolic standard units


Categorical principal component analysis


Abstainers group


Moderate drinkers group


Moderate drinkers of beer group


Moderate drinkers of all short of alcoholic drinks group



The authors are grateful to Ms. Laura Barrios for her statistical advice.


This study received funding from the Beer and Health Information Center in Spain in the manner of a personal grant to author ISM (reference: XII call “Manuel de Oya—Beer, Health and Nutrition”) to carry out this study.

Compliance with ethical standards

Conflict of interest

The authors declare that they have no conflict of interest.

Ethical approval

All procedures performed in studies involving human participants were in accordance with the ethical standards of the institutional and/or national research committee and with the 1964 Helsinki Declaration and its later amendments or comparable ethical standards.

Informed consent

Informed consent was obtained from all individual participants included in the study.


  1. 1.
    Maraldi, C., Harris, T., Newman, A. B., Kritchevsky, S. B., Pahor, M., Koster, A., et al. (2009). Moderate alcohol consumption and risk of functional decline: Is there a causal relationship? The Health, Aging, and Body Composition. Journal of the American Geriatrics Society, 57(10), 1767–1775.CrossRefPubMedPubMedCentralGoogle Scholar
  2. 2.
    Nova, E., Baccan, G. C., Veses, A., Zapatera, B., & Marcos, A. (2012). Potential health benefits of moderate alcohol consumption: Current perspectives in research. Proceedings of the Nutrition Society, 71, 307–315.CrossRefPubMedGoogle Scholar
  3. 3.
    Klatsky, A. L., & Udaltsova, N. (2007). Alcohol drinking and total mortality risk. Annals of Epidemiology, 17, 63–67.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  4. 4.
    Rimm, E. B., & Moats, C. (2007). Alcohol and coronary heart disease: Drinking patterns and mediators of effect. Annals of Epidemiology, 17, 3–7.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  5. 5.
    Mukamal, K. (2007). Alcohol intake and noncoronary cardiovascular diseases. Annals of Epidemiology, 17(5), 8–12.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  6. 6.
    Klatsky, A. L. (1999). Moderate drinking and reduced risk of heart disease. Alcohol Research and Health, 23(1), 15–23.PubMedGoogle Scholar
  7. 7.
    Howard, A. A., Arnsten, J. H., & Gourevitch, M. N. (2004). Effect of alcohol consumption on diabetes mellitus: A systematic review. Annals of Internal Medicine, 140(3), 211–219.CrossRefPubMedGoogle Scholar
  8. 8.
    Joosten, M. M., Grobbee, D. E., Verschuren, W. M., Hendriks, H. F., & Beulens, J. W. (2010). Combined effect of alcohol consumption and lifestyle behaviors on risk of type 2 diabetes. American Journal of Clinical Nutrition, 91(6), 1777–1783.CrossRefPubMedGoogle Scholar
  9. 9.
    Volpato, S., Pahor, M., Ferrucci, L., et al. (2004). Relationship of alcohol intake with inflammatory markers and plasminogen activator inhibitor-1 in well-functioning older adults: The Health, Aging, and Body Composition Study. Circulation, 109, 607–612.CrossRefPubMedGoogle Scholar
  10. 10.
    Romeo, J., Wärnberg, J., Nova, E., Díaz, L. E., Gómez-Martinez, S., & Marcos, A. (2007). Moderate alcohol consumption and the immune system: A review. British Journal of Nutrition, 98(11), 111–115.Google Scholar
  11. 11.
    Bridevaux, I. P., Bradley, K. A., Bryson, C. L., McDonell, M. B., & Fihn, S. D. (2004). Alcohol screening. Results in elderly male veterans: Association with health status and mortality. Journal of the American Geriatric Society, 52(9), 1510–1517.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  12. 12.
    Stranberger, T. E., Stranberger, A. Y., Salomaa, V. V., Pitka, K., Tilvis, R. S., & Miettnen, T. A. (2007). Alcoholic beverage preference, 29-year mortality, and quality of life in men in old age. The Journals of Gerontology Series A, Biological Sciences and Medical Sciences, 62(2), 213–218.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  13. 13.
    World Health Organization. (2009). Global health risks: Mortality and burden of disease attributable to selected major risks. Geneva: World Health Organization.Google Scholar
  14. 14.
    Reid, M. C., Boutros, N. N., O’Connor, P. G., et al. (2002). The health-related effects of alcohol use in older persons: A systematic review. Substance Abuse, 23(3), 149–164.PubMedGoogle Scholar
  15. 15.
    Ortolá, R., García-Esquinas, E., León-Muñoz, L. M., Guallar-Castillón, P., Valencia-Martín, J. L., Galán, I., et al. (2015). Patterns of alcohol consumption and risk of frailty in community-dwelling older adults. The Journals of Gerontology Series A: Biological Sciences & Medical Sciences. doi: 10.1093/gerona/glv125.
  16. 16.
    McGuire, L. C., Ajani, U. A., & Ford, E. S. (2007). Cognitive functioning in late life: The impact of moderate alcohol consumption. Annals of Epidemiology, 17(2), 93–99.CrossRefPubMedGoogle Scholar
  17. 17.
    Nooyens, A. C., Bueno-de-Mesquita, H. B., van Gelder, B. M., van Boxtel, M. P., & Verschuren, W. M. (2014). Consumption of alcoholic beverages and cognitive decline at middle age: The Doetinchem Cohort Study. British Journal of Nutritoin, 111(4), 715–723.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  18. 18.
    Stampfer, M. J., Kang, J. H., Chen, J., Cherry, R., & Grodstein, F. (2005). Effects of moderate alcohol consumption on cognitive function in women. The New England Journal of Medicine, 352, 245–253.CrossRefPubMedGoogle Scholar
  19. 19.
    Baum-Baicker, C. (1985). The psychological benefits of moderate alcohol consumption: A review of the literature. Drug and Alcohol Dependence, 15(4), 305–322.CrossRefPubMedGoogle Scholar
  20. 20.
    Mukamal, K., Kuller, L., Fitzpatrick, A., Junior, L., Mittleman, M., & Siscovick, D. (2003). Prospective study of alcohol consumption and risk of dementia in older adults. JAMA, 289(11), 1405–1413.CrossRefPubMedGoogle Scholar
  21. 21.
    World Health Organization. (2000). World Health Organization 2000 international guide for monitoring alcohol consumption and related harm.
  22. 22.
    Klatsky, A. L. (1999). Moderate drinking and reduced risk of heart disease. Alcohol Research & Health, 23(1), 15–23.Google Scholar
  23. 23.
    Lee, S. J., Sudore, R. L., Williams, B. A., Lindquist, K., Chen, H. L., & Covinsky, K. E. (2009). Functional limitations, socioeconomic status, and all-cause mortality in moderate alcohol drinkers. Journal of the American Geriatric Society, 57, 955–962.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  24. 24.
    Duncan, M. J., Kline, C. E., Vandelanotte, C., Sargent, C., Rogers, N. L., & Di Milia, L. (2014). Cross-sectional associations between multiple lifestyle behaviors and health-related quality of life in the 10,000 Steps cohort. PLoS ONE, 9(4), e94184.CrossRefPubMedPubMedCentralGoogle Scholar
  25. 25.
    Peel, N. M., McClure, R. J., & Bartlett, H. P. (2005). Behavioral determinants of healthy aging. American Journal of Preventive Medicine, 28(3), 298–304.CrossRefPubMedGoogle Scholar
  26. 26.
    World Health Organization. (2010). European status reports on alcohol and health. Accessed August 13, 2013.
  27. 27.
    González-Gross, M., Lebrón, M., & Marcos, A. (2000). Revisión bibliográfica sobre los efectos del consumo moderado de cerveza sobre la salud. Ed. Centro de Información cerveza y salud. Madrid.Google Scholar
  28. 28.
    Sánchez-Villegas, A., Irala, J., & Martínez-González, M. A. (2002). Dieta mediterránea y enfermedad cardiovascular: Resultados del estudio piloto del proyecto SUN [Mediterranean diet and cardiovascular disease: Results of the SUN pilot study]. Revista de Medicina-Universidad de Navarra, 46(3), 9–16.Google Scholar
  29. 29.
    Martínez, D., Eisenmann, J., Gómez, S., Veses, A., Marcos, A., & Veiga, O. (2010). Sedentarismo, adiposidad y factores de riesgo cardiovascular en adolescentes. Estudio AFINOS [Sedentarism, adiposity and cardiovascular risk factors in adolescents. The AFINOS study]. Revista Española de Cardiología, 63(03), 277–285.Google Scholar
  30. 30.
    Ainsworth, B. E., Haskell, W. L., Herrmann, S. D., Meckes, N., Bassett, D. R, Jr, Tudor-Locke, C., et al. (2011). Compendium of physical activities: A second update of codes and MET values. Medicinal Sciences in Sports and Exercise, 43(8), 1575–1581.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  31. 31.
    Martínez-González, M. A., García-Arellano, A., Toledo, E., Salas-Salvadó, J., Buil-Cosiales, P., et al. (2012). A 14-item Mediterranean diet assessment tool and obesity indexes among high-risk subjects: The PREDIMED trial. PLoS ONE, 7(8), e43134. doi: 10.1371/journal.pone.0043134.CrossRefPubMedPubMedCentralGoogle Scholar
  32. 32.
    Encuesta Nacional de Salud [Spanish National Health Survey]. (2011). Ministry of Health, Spain.
  33. 33.
    Lugo, A., García, G., & Gómez, R. (2006). Confiabilidad del cuestionario de calidad de vida en salud SF-36 en Medellín, Colombia [Confiability of the health-related wuality of life questionnaire SF-36 in Medellín, Colombia]. Revista de la Facultad Nacional de Salud Pública, 24(2), 37–50.Google Scholar
  34. 34.
    Linting, M., & van der Kooij, A. (2012). Nonlinear principal components analysis with CATPCA: A tutorial. Journal of Personality Assessment, 94(1), 12–25.CrossRefPubMedGoogle Scholar
  35. 35.
    Smothers, B., & Bertolucci, D. (2001). Alcohol consumption and health-promoting behavior in a US household sample: Leisure-time physical activity. Journal of Studies on Alcohol, 62(4), 467–476.CrossRefPubMedGoogle Scholar
  36. 36.
    Barrett, D. H., Anda, R. F., Croft, J. B., Serdula, M. K., & Lane, M. J. (1995). The association between alcohol use and health behaviours related to the risk of cardiovascular disease: The South Carolina Cardiovascular Disease Prevention Project. Journal of Studies on Alcohol, 56(1), 9–15.CrossRefPubMedGoogle Scholar
  37. 37.
    Bjurj, A. L., Wen, W., Gao, Y. T., Matthews, C. E., Yang, G., Li, H. L., et al. (2007). Patterns and correlates of physical activity: A crosssectional study in urban Chinese women. BMC Public Health, 21(7), 213.Google Scholar
  38. 38.
    French, M., Popovici, I., & Maclean, J. (2009). Do alcohol consumers exercise more? Findings from a National Survey. American Journal of Health Promotion, 24(1), 2–10.CrossRefPubMedPubMedCentralGoogle Scholar
  39. 39.
    Lima, M., Barros, M., César, C., Goldbaum, M., Carandina, L., & Alves, M. (2011). Health-related behavior and quality of life among the elderly: A population-based study. Revista de Saúde Publica, 45(3), 485–493.CrossRefPubMedGoogle Scholar
  40. 40.
    Touvier, M., Druesne-Pecollo, N., Kesse-Guyot, E., Andreeva, V. A., Galan, P., Hercberg, S., & Latino-Martel, P. (2014). Demographic, socioeconomic, disease history, dietary and lifestyle cancer risk factors associated with alcohol consumption. International Journal of Cancer, 134(2), 445–459.CrossRefPubMedGoogle Scholar
  41. 41.
    Guallar-Castillón, P., Santa-Olalla Peralta, P., Banegas, J. R., López, E., & Rodríguez-Artalejo, F. (2004). Physical activity and quality of life in older adults in Spain. Medicina Clinica (Barcelona), 123(16), 606–610.Google Scholar
  42. 42.
    Elizondo-Armendáriz, J. J., Guillén Grima, F., & Aguinaga Ontoso, I. (2005). Prevalencia de actividad física y su relación con variables sociodemográficas y estilos de vida en la población de 18 a 65 años de Pamplona [Prevalence of physical activity and its relationship with sociodemographic variables and lifestyles in the 18–65 year old population of Pamplona]. Revista Española de Salud Pública, 79, 559–567.CrossRefPubMedGoogle Scholar
  43. 43.
    Palacios-Ceña, D., Alonso-Blanco, C., Jiménez-Garcia, R., Hernández-Barrera, V., Carrasco-Garrido, P., Pileño-Martinez, E., & Fernández-de-Las-Peñas, C. (2011). Time trends in leisure time physical activity and physical fitness in elderly people: 20 year follow up of the Spanish population national health survey (1987–2006). BMC Public Health, 11, 799.CrossRefPubMedPubMedCentralGoogle Scholar
  44. 44.
    Sun, F., Norman, I. J., & While, A. E. (2013). Physical activity in older people: A systematic review. BMC Public Health, 6(13), 449.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  45. 45.
    Ruidavets, J. B., Bataille, V., Dallongeville, J., et al. (2004). Alcohol intake and diet in France, the prominent role of lifestyle. European Heart Journal, 25, 1153–1162.CrossRefPubMedGoogle Scholar
  46. 46.
    Kim, K., & Taylor, L. (2005). Factors associated with physical activity among older people—A population-based study. Preventive Medicine, 40, 33–40.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  47. 47.
    Merom, D., Bowles, H. R., & Bauman, A. (2009). Measuring walking for physical activity surveillance the effect of prompts and respondents’ interpretation of walking in a leisure-time survey. Journal of Physical Activity and Health, 6, 81–88.Google Scholar
  48. 48.
    Strawbridge, W. J., Cohen, R. D., Shema, S. J., & Kaplan, G. A. (1996). Successful aging: Predictors and associated activities. American Journal of Epidemiology, 144, 135–141.CrossRefPubMedGoogle Scholar
  49. 49.
    World Health Organization. (2010). Global recommendations on physical activity for health. Accessed January 30, 2011.
  50. 50.
    Saito, I., Okamura, T., Fukuhara, S., Tanaka, T., Suzukamo, Y., Okayama, A., et al. (2005). A cross-sectional study of alcohol drinking and health-related quality of life among male workers in Japan. Journal of Occupational Health, 47(6), 496–503.CrossRefPubMedGoogle Scholar
  51. 51.
    Chan, A., Von-Mühlenemail, D., Kritz-Silverstein, D., & Barrett-Connor, E. (2009). Regular alcohol consumption is associated with increasing quality of life and mood in older men and women: The Rancho Bernardo Study. Maturitas, 62(3), 294–300.CrossRefPubMedPubMedCentralGoogle Scholar
  52. 52.
    Byles, J., Young, A., Furuya, H., & Parkinson, L. (2006). A drink to healthy aging: The association between older women’s use of alcohol and their health-related quality of life. Journal of the American Geriatric Society, 54, 1341–1347.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  53. 53.
    Rodgers, B., Korten, A., Jorm, A., Christensen, H., Henderson, S., & Jacomb, P. (2000). Risk factors for depression and anxiety in abstainers, moderate drinkers and heavy drinkers. Addiction, 95, 1833–1845.CrossRefPubMedGoogle Scholar
  54. 54.
    Perrine, M., Mundt, J., Searles, J., & Lester, L. (1995). Validation of daily self-reported alcohol consumption using interactive voice response (IVR) technology. Journal of Studies on Alcohol, 56(5), 487–490.CrossRefPubMedGoogle Scholar
  55. 55.
    Hu, E. A., Toledo, E., Diez-Espino, J., Estruch, R., Corella, D., Salas-Salvado, J., et al. (2013). Lifestyles and risk factors associated with adherence to the Mediterranean diet: A baseline assessment of the PREDIMED trial. PLoS ONE, 8(4), e60166.CrossRefPubMedPubMedCentralGoogle Scholar

Copyright information

© Springer International Publishing Switzerland 2016

Authors and Affiliations

  • Elizabeth González-Rubio
    • 1
  • Ismael San Mauro
    • 1
  • Cristina López-Ruíz
    • 1
  • Ligia E. Díaz-Prieto
    • 1
  • Ascensión Marcos
    • 1
  • Esther Nova
    • 1
    Email author
  1. 1.Immunonutrition Research Group, Department of Metabolism and NutritionInstitute of Food Science, Technology and Nutrition, ICTAN-CSICMadridSpain

Personalised recommendations