Magazine article Clinical Psychiatry News

For Diabetics, Drinking Tied to Mortality Drop: Up to Seven Drinks a Week

Magazine article Clinical Psychiatry News

For Diabetics, Drinking Tied to Mortality Drop: Up to Seven Drinks a Week

Article excerpt

NEW ORLEANS -- People with diabetes who consume up to seven alcoholic drinks per week have a 35% reduction in all-cause mortality, compared with diabetics who abstain, according to an analysis of data from the San Antonio Heart Study.

Consuming the same amount of alcohol protected nondiabetics to a lesser extent, reducing mortality by 20%. The analysis also suggested that the type of alcoholic drink makes a difference, Sharon P. Fowler said at the annual scientific sessions of the American Diabetes Association.

Drinking a low to moderate amount of alcohol has been associated with protection against coronary heart disease in the general population. The protective effect of alcohol for diabetics has been studied previously only in select groups such as male physicians and the elderly, said Ms. Fowler of the departments of medicine and epidemiology at the University of Texas, San Antonio.

Researchers gathered baseline data on 3,788 Mexican American and European American men and women between 35 and 65 years old. The data included results of a 2-hour oral glucose tolerance test and the self-reported frequency of alcohol intake. Cox proportional hazard ratios were used to analyze the risk of mortality in 503 participants who met the World Health Organization's 1999 criteria for diabetes, compared with the mortality risk of nondiabetic participants. The data were adjusted for age, body mass index, smoking status, geographic location, gender, ethnicity, and socioeconomic status.

"The surprising finding was when we divided groups into those with and without diabetes, those with diabetes who consumed alcohol more than zero but under seven drinks per week were protected," Ms. Fowler said.

After a mean follow-up of 14 years, light drinking was associated with a 35% reduction in the risk of all-cause mortality among diabetics, compared with abstainers. …

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