To test the association of alcohol consumption with total and cause-specific mortality risk, data was taken from sixteen cohorts (15 from Europe) in the MOnica Risk, Genetics, Archiving and Monograph (MORGAM) Project. A total of 142,960 individuals (mean age 50±13 y, 53.9% men) participated.
The researchers found that in comparison with lifetime abstainers, consumption of alcohol less than 10 gr/d was associated with an average 11% (95%CI: 7%-14%) reduction in the risk of total mortality, while intake >20 gr/d was associated with a 13% (7%-20%) increase in the risk of total mortality. Comparable findings were observed for cardiovascular (CV) deaths. As far as cancer is concerned, drinking up to 10 gr/d was not associated with either mortality risk reduction or increase, while alcohol intake >20 gr/d was associated with a 22% (10%-35%) increased risk of mortality. The association of alcohol with fatal outcomes was similar in men and women, although there were some differences between countries and was more apparent in individuals preferring wine, suggesting that benefits may not be due to ethanol but other ingredients. Mediation analysis showed that HDLc explained 2.9% and 18.7% of the association between low alcohol intake and total as well as CV mortality, respectively.
In comparison with lifetime abstainers, consuming less than 1 drink per day (nadir at 5 gr/d) was associated with a reduced risk of total, cardiovascular and other causes mortality, except cancer. Intake of more than 2 drinks per day was associated with an increased risk of total, cardiovascular and especially cancer mortality.
Source: Di Castelnuovo, A., Costanzo, S., Bonaccio, M., McElduff, et al. Alcohol Intake and Total Mortality in 142,960 Individuals from the MORGAM Project: a population-based study. Addiction,