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Moderate Alcohol Intake Cuts Risk of Type 2 Diabetes

But study on older women finds light and heavy drinkers have increased risk

TUESDAY, Dec. 27 (HealthDay News) -- Moderate alcohol consumption may reduce the risk of type 2 diabetes among older women, according to a study in the December issue of Diabetes Care.

Joline W.J. Beulens, M.Sc., of Wageningen University in the Netherlands, and colleagues studied data from 16,330 women, aged 49 to 70, who were free from diabetes when enrolled in one of the Dutch Prospect-EPIC (European Prospective Study Into Cancer and Nutrition) cohorts. Upon enrollment, women completed questionnaires and blood samples were taken. The women were followed for a mean of 6.2 years.

A total of 760 cases of type 2 diabetes were diagnosed during follow-up and the authors observed a linear, inverse association between alcohol consumption and type 2 diabetes risk. When compared with those who abstained from alcohol, the hazard ratio for type 2 diabetes was 0.86 for those who consumed between 5 grams and 30 g of alcohol a week; 0.66 for 30 g to 70 g a week; 0.91 for 70 g to 140 g a week, 0.64 for 140 g to 210 g a week; and 0.69 for more than 210 g a week.

"When adjusted for current alcohol use, we observed that both heavier drinkers and very light drinkers had a slightly increased risk of type 2 diabetes, while moderate drinkers had a decreased risk of type 2 diabetes," the authors conclude.

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