gms | German Medical Science

MAINZ//2011: 56. GMDS-Jahrestagung und 6. DGEpi-Jahrestagung

Deutsche Gesellschaft für Medizinische Informatik, Biometrie und Epidemiologie e. V.
Deutsche Gesellschaft für Epidemiologie e. V.

26. - 29.09.2011 in Mainz

Alcohol consumption and mortality in individuals with diabetes mellitus

Meeting Abstract

  • Diewertje Sluik - Deutsches Institut für Ernährungsforschung, Nuthetal
  • Heiner Boeing - Deutsches Institut für Ernährungsforschung, Nuthetal
  • Manuela Bergmann - Deutsches Institut für Ernährungsforschung, Nuthetal
  • Ute Nöthlings - Institute for Experimental Medicine, Christian-Albrechts-University of Kiel; Deutsches Institut für Ernährungsforschung, Kiel; Nuthetal
  • on behalf of EPIC

Mainz//2011. 56. Jahrestagung der Deutschen Gesellschaft für Medizinische Informatik, Biometrie und Epidemiologie (gmds), 6. Jahrestagung der Deutschen Gesellschaft für Epidemiologie (DGEpi). Mainz, 26.-29.09.2011. Düsseldorf: German Medical Science GMS Publishing House; 2011. Doc11gmds141

doi: 10.3205/11gmds141, urn:nbn:de:0183-11gmds1412

Published: September 20, 2011

© 2011 Sluik et al.
This is an Open Access article distributed under the terms of the Creative Commons Attribution License ( You are free: to Share – to copy, distribute and transmit the work, provided the original author and source are credited.



Introduction: Studies have suggested that moderate alcohol consumption is associated with reduced risk of cardiovascular diseases and premature mortality in persons with diabetes mellitus. However, history of alcohol consumption has hardly been taken into account. We investigated the association between current alcohol consumption and mortality in men and women with diabetes accounting for their past alcohol consumption.

Methods: Within the European Prospective Investigation into Cancer and Nutrition, a cohort was defined of 4,797 participants with a confirmed diagnosis of diabetes mellitus at baseline. Men and women were assigned to categories of baseline and past alcohol consumption. Alcohol consumption in the past was defined as none, always moderate, or sometimes heavy. Hazard Rate Ratios (HRR) and 95% confidence interval (CI) for total mortality were estimated with multivariate Cox proportional hazard regression, using light alcohol consumption (>0-6 g/d) as a reference category.

Results: At baseline, median alcohol consumption was 16.0 g/d in men and 1.8 g/d in women. During a median follow-up of 9.2 years, 373 men and 160 women died. Compared with light alcohol consumption, no relationship was observed between consumption of 6 g/d or more and total mortality. HRR for >6-12 g/d was 0.89 (95% CI 0.61, 1.30) in men and 0.86 (95% CI 0.46, 1.60) in women. For a consumption of >12-24 g/d, HRR was 0.85 (95% CI 0.60, 1.20) in men and 1.72 (95% CI 0.96, 3.07) in women. Adjustment for past alcohol consumption did not change the estimates substantially. In persons who at baseline reported abstaining from alcohol, mortality rates were increased relative to light consumers. This association seemed to be driven by former alcohol consumers rather than lifetime abstainers.

Discussion: Current alcohol consumption did not appear to be associated with future mortality rates in persons with diabetes mellitus. This study supports the idea that non-consumers do not constitute a useful comparison group.