Alcohol use and early mortality in Swedish middle-aged women: Nine-year follow-up of the Women's Health in Lund Area study.

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Abstract

The majority of prospective studies on alcohol use and mortality risk indicate that non-drinkers are at increased risk of death compared to moderate drinkers. This article investigates the association between middle-aged women's alcohol use and mortality, controlling for socio-demographic and health variables. An association between alcohol use and hospital in-patient care is also analysed. Methods: Baseline data were collected during 1995-2000 in a population-based cohort of 6917 women aged 50-59 years living in southern Sweden, the Women's Health in Lund Area (WHILA). After 9 years, a register follow-up was performed from the National cause-of-death register and the Swedish hospital discharge register. Cox proportional hazards regression were used to analyse differences in survival. Results: During the observation period, 201 (2.9%) women died. In a crude model, non-drinkers had a significantly increased risk for death. When including socio-demographic predictors in the model, there was a strong indication that non-drinkers were at increased risk for death compared to moderate drinkers. Adding health predictors, not drinking alcohol was no longer a risk factor for death. Further, analyses of in-patient care indicate that non-drinkers had poorer health during their entire adult life. Conclusions: This study underlines the importance of including health status at base-line when prospectively studying the association between alcohol use and mortality, otherwise moderate alcohol consumption may appear more beneficial than is the case.
Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)344-348
JournalScandinavian Journal of Public Health
Volume42
Issue number4
DOIs
Publication statusPublished - 2014

Subject classification (UKÄ)

  • Public Health, Global Health, Social Medicine and Epidemiology

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