Age and Ageing
By Piet A van den Brandt, Lloyd Brandts
Published: February 9, 2020
Age and Ageing, afaa003, https://doi.org/10.1093/ageing/afaa003
whether light-to-moderate alcohol intake is related to reduced mortality remains a subject of intense research and controversy. There are very few studies available on alcohol and reaching longevity.
we investigated the relationship of alcohol drinking characteristics with the probability to reach 90 years of age. Analyses were conducted using data from the Netherlands Cohort Study. Participants born in 1916–1917 (n = 7,807) completed a questionnaire in 1986 (age 68–70 years) and were followed up for vital status until the age of 90 years (2006–07). Multivariable Cox regression analyses with fixed follow-up time were based on 5,479 participants with complete data to calculate risk ratios (RRs) of reaching longevity (age 90 years).
we found statistically significant positive associations between baseline alcohol intake and the probability of reaching 90 years in both men and women. Overall, the highest probability of reaching 90 was found in those consuming 5– < 15 g/d alcohol, with RR = 1.36 (95% CI, 1.20–1.55) when compared with abstainers. The exposure-response relationship was significantly non-linear in women, but not in men. Wine intake was positively associated with longevity (notably in women), whereas liquor was positively associated with longevity in men and inversely in women. Binge drinking pointed towards an inverse relationship with longevity. Alcohol intake was associated with longevity in those without and with a history of selected diseases.
the highest probability of reaching 90 years was found for those drinking 5– < 15 g alcohol/day. Although not significant, the risk estimates also indicate to avoid binge drinking.
- The highest probability of reaching 90 years of age (longevity) was found for men and women drinking 5– < 15 g alcohol/day (or 0.5–1.5 glass/day); the exposure–response relationship was significantly non-linear in women.
- Usual drinking pattern and binge drinking were not significantly associated with longevity, but the risk estimates indicate to avoid binge drinking.
- The estimated modest risk ratios (RRs) should not be used as motivation to start drinking if one does not drink alcoholic beverages.