Different measures of alcohol consumption and risk of coronary heart disease and all-cause mortality: 11-year follow-up of the Whitehall II Cohort Study
Version of Record online: 17 DEC 2003
Volume 99, Issue 1, pages 109–116, January 2004
How to Cite
Britton, A. and Marmot, M. (2004), Different measures of alcohol consumption and risk of coronary heart disease and all-cause mortality: 11-year follow-up of the Whitehall II Cohort Study. Addiction, 99: 109–116. doi: 10.1111/j.1360-0443.2004.00530.x
- Issue online: 17 DEC 2003
- Version of Record online: 17 DEC 2003
- Submitted 29 January 2003; initial review completed 19 May 2003; final version accepted 23 June 2003
- drinking patterns;
- coronary heart disease;
- prospective cohort study
Aims To investigate the relationship between three measures of alcohol consumption obtained simultaneously in a large cohort and the validated risk of coronary heart disease and all-cause mortality during follow-up.
Design Prospective cohort study with median follow-up of 11 years.
Setting The Whitehall II Cohort Study: London-based civil service.
Participants A total of 10 308 (33% female) civil servants aged 35–55 years at baseline (1985–88).
Measurements Self-reported volume of alcohol consumed during past week, frequency of drinking over past year, usual amount consumed per drinking session.
Main outcome measures Coronary heart disease and all-cause mortality until 1999.
Findings A U-shaped relationship was found between volume of alcohol consumed per week and outcome. Compared to those who drank moderately (10–80 g alcohol per week), non-drinkers and those drinking more than 248 g per week had approximately a twofold increased risk of mortality. The optimal frequency of drinking was between once or twice a week and daily, after adjustment for average volume consumed per week. Those drinking twice a day or more had an increased risk of mortality (male hazard ratio 2.44 95% CI 1.31–4.52) compared to those drinking once or twice a week. Drinking only once a month or only on special occasions had a 50% increased risk of mortality. The usual amount consumed per drinking session was not indicative of increased health risk in this cohort.
Conclusions Epidemiological studies should collect information on frequency of drinking in addition to average volume consumed in order to inform sensible drinking advice.