Moderate Alcohol Intake and Risk of Functional Decline: The Health, Aging, and Body Composition Study
Article first published online: 8 SEP 2009
© 2009, Copyright the Authors. Journal compilation © 2009, The American Geriatrics Society
Journal of the American Geriatrics Society
Volume 57, Issue 10, pages 1767–1775, October 2009
How to Cite
Maraldi, C., Harris, T. B., Newman, A. B., Kritchevsky, S. B., Pahor, M., Koster, A., Satterfield, S., Ayonayon, H. N., Fellin, R., Volpato, S. and for the Health ABC study (2009), Moderate Alcohol Intake and Risk of Functional Decline: The Health, Aging, and Body Composition Study. Journal of the American Geriatrics Society, 57: 1767–1775. doi: 10.1111/j.1532-5415.2009.02479.x
- Issue published online: 5 OCT 2009
- Article first published online: 8 SEP 2009
- alcohol intake;
- functional decline;
OBJECTIVES: To investigate the prospective relationship between alcohol consumption and incident mobility limitation.
DESIGN: Cohort study.
SETTING: The Health Aging and Body Composition study, conducted in Memphis, Tennessee, and Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania.
PARTICIPANTS: Three thousand sixty-one adults aged 70 to 79 without mobility disability at baseline.
MEASUREMENTS: Incidence of mobility limitation, defined as self-report at two consecutive semiannual interviews of any difficulty walking one-quarter of a mile or climbing stairs, and incidence of mobility disability, defined as severe difficulty or inability to perform these tasks at two consecutive reports. Alcohol intake, lifestyle-related variables, diseases, and health status indicators were assessed at baseline.
RESULTS: During a follow-up time of 6.5 years, participants consuming moderate levels of alcohol had the lowest incidence of mobility limitation (total: 6.4 per 100 person-years (person-years); men: 6.4 per 100 person-years; women: 7.3 per 100 person-years) and mobility disability (total: 2.7 per 100 person-years; men: 2.5 per 100 person-years; women: 2.9 per 100 person-years). Adjusting for demographic characteristics, moderate alcohol intake was associated with lower risk of mobility limitation (hazard ratio (HR)=0.70, 95% confidence interval (CI)=0.55–0.89) and mobility disability (HR=0.66, 95% CI=0.45–0.95) than never or occasional consumption. Additional adjustment for lifestyle-related variables substantially reduced the strength of the associations (HR=0.85, 95% CI=0.66–1.08 and HR=0.81, 95% CI=0.56–1.18, respectively). Adjustment for diseases and health status indicators did not affect the strength of the associations, suggesting that lifestyle is most important in confounding this relationship.
CONCLUSION: Lifestyle-related characteristics mainly accounted for the association between moderate alcohol intake and lower risk of functional decline over time. These findings do not support a direct causal effect of alcohol intake on physical function.