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Daily Drinking Associated With Increased Mortality Risk

Minimum risk of low-level drinking frequency for all-cause mortality found to be about three times weekly


FRIDAY, Oct. 5, 2018 (HealthDay News) -- Daily drinking, even at low levels, may be detrimental to one's health, according to a study published online Oct. 3 in Alcoholism: Clinical & Experimental Research.

Sarah M. Hartz, M.D., Ph.D., from Washington University in St. Louis, and colleagues examined the association between self-reported frequency of low-level drinking and mortality using data from 340,668 individuals participating in the National Health Interview Survey (NHIS) and 93,653 individuals from Veterans Health Administration (VA) outpatient medical records.

The researchers found that the drinking frequency with minimum risk among those who drink one to two drinks per occasion was 3.2 times weekly in the NHIS cohort and two to three times weekly with the VA data. Compared with these individuals with minimum risk, individuals who drink seven times weekly had an adjusted hazard ratio of all-cause mortality of 1.23 in the NHIS data, and individuals who drink four to seven times weekly in the VA data also had an adjusted hazard ratio of 1.23. In the NHIS data, the minimum risk for cardiovascular mortality was drinking four times weekly and the minimum risk for cancer mortality was drinking monthly or less. After stratification of men, women, and never smokers, associations remained.

"The minimum risk of low-level drinking frequency for all-cause mortality appears to be approximately three occasions weekly," the authors write.

One author is listed as an inventor on a patent covering the use of certain single-nucleotide polymorphisms in determining the diagnosis, prognosis, and treatment of addiction.

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