Page last updated: May 2017
Alcohol use and risk of intracerebral hemorrhage

The dose–risk relationship for alcohol consumption and intracerebral hemorrhage (ICH) was examined in the Ethnic/Racial Variations of Intracerebral Hemorrhage (ERICH) study, which is a multicenter, prospective, case-control study.

The study recruited 1,000 non-Hispanic white patients, 1,000 non-Hispanic black patients, and 1,000 Hispanic patients with ICH. Cases were matched 1:1 to ICH-free controls by age, sex, race/ethnicity, and geographic area. Comprehensive interviews included questions regarding alcohol consumption. Patterns of alcohol consumption were categorized as none, rare (<1 drink per month), moderate (≥1 drink per month and ≤2 drinks per day), intermediate (>2 drinks per day and <5 drinks per day), and heavy (≥5 drinks per day). ICH risk was calculated using the noalcohol use category as the reference group.

Multivariable analyses demonstrated an ordinal trend for alcohol consumption: rare (odds ratio [OR] 0.57, p < 0.0001), moderate (OR 0.65, p < 0.0001), intermediate (OR 0.82, p = 0.2666), and heavy alcohol consumption (OR 1.77, p = 0.0003). Subgroup analyses demonstrated an association of rare and moderate alcohol consumption with decreased risk of both lobar and nonlobar ICH. Heavy alcohol consumption demonstrated a strong association with increased nonlobar ICH risk (OR 2.04, p = 0.0003). Heavy alcohol consumption was associated with significant increase in nonlobar ICH risk in black (OR 2.34, p = 0.0140) and Hispanic participants (OR 12.32, p < 0.0001). A similar association was not found in white participants.

This study demonstrated potential protective effects of occasional and moderate alcohol consumption on ICH risk. Heavy alcohol consumption was associated with increased ICH risk. Race/ethnicity was a significant factor in alcohol-associated ICH risk; heavy alcohol consumption in black and Hispanic participants poses significant nonlobar ICH risk.

Source: Alcohol use and risk of intracerebral haemorrhage. Ching-Jen Chen, W. Mark Brown, CJ Moomaw, CD. Langefeld, J Osborne, BB Worrall, D Woo, S Koch. Neurology. 2017 Apr 26.

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