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



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.

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Fig. 1



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


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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.

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Correspondence to Esther Nova.

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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.

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

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González-Rubio, E., San Mauro, I., López-Ruíz, C. et al. Relationship of moderate alcohol intake and type of beverage with health behaviors and quality of life in elderly subjects. Qual Life Res 25, 1931–1942 (2016).

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  • Moderate alcohol consumption
  • Physical activity
  • Quality of life
  • Health behaviors
  • Elderly