Alcohol consumption and mortality in men with preexisting cerebrovascular disease.

Archives of internal medicine, 2003; 163 (10) doi:10.1001/archinte.163.10.1189

Authors: Jackson Vicki A, Sesso Howard D, Buring Julie E, Gaziano J Michael

Affiliation: VA Boston Healthcare System, Boston, MA, United States

Abstract: BACKGROUND: In counseling patients with a history of stroke, clinicians have limited information regarding the risks and benefits of alcohol consumption.
OBJECTIVE: To examine the relationship between alcohol intake and risks of total and cardiovascular mortality in men with a history of stroke.
METHODS: The study population consisted of 112 528 men from the enrollment cohort of the Physicians' Health Study, 1320 of whom reported a baseline history of stroke. Men provided self-reported data on alcohol consumption, which was classified into 1 of 4 categories: rarely or never drink, very light (<1 drink per week), light (1-6 drinks per week), or moderate (> or =1 drink per day). Cox proportional hazards models were used to assess the relative risks of mortality associated with alcohol consumption, after adjustment for major coronary risk factors.
RESULTS: During a mean follow-up of 4(1/2) years, 369 men died, 267 of whom died of cardiovascular disease. Compared with men with a history of stroke who drank rarely or never, those with a very light to moderate alcohol intake had multivariate relative risks for total mortality of 0.88 (95% confidence interval [CI], 0.60-1.28), 0.64 (95% CI, 0.48-0.85), and 0.71 (95% CI, 0.54-0.94), respectively (P =.03 for trend); and relative risks for cardiovascular mortality of 0.89 (95% CI, 0.58-1.36), 0.56 (95% CI, 0.40-0.79), and 0.64 (95% CI, 0.46-0.88) P =.008 for trend). Compared with age-adjusted models, adjustment for major coronary risk factors did not significantly change risk estimates for total or cardiovascular mortality.
CONCLUSIONS: These data indicate a possible inverse association between light to moderate alcohol intake and risks of total and cardiovascular mortality in men with a history of stroke. More data are needed to confirm or refute these results.

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