Page last updated: Aug 2021
Alcohol consumption and stroke risk in men in China

Although the protective effects of alcohol consumption against future cardiovascular disease have been published, the effects of alcohol on stroke risk remain controversial.
A study assessed the effects of alcohol consumption on stroke risk in a poorly educated, low-income population in rural China. Between 1991 and 2018, a population-based cohort study was conducted in rural Tianjin, China, to examine stroke risk. All registered stroke events were clinically verified using available computed tomography or MRI scans. The stroke risk was analyzed, according to the extent of alcohol consumption, using Cox regression analyses.
352 incident stroke events were identified among male participants during the study period. The stroke incidences (per 100,000 person-years) were 965.3 overall, 575.9 for ischemic stroke events, 208.4 for hemorrhagic stroke events, and 181.0 for undefined stroke events. Overall, alcohol consumption provided a 32% reduction in the total stroke risk. Low-dose alcohol consumption (≤12 g/day) showed a negative association with total (hazard ratio [HR], 0.64; 95% confidence interval [CI], 0.46-0.88; p = 0.008) and ischemic (HR, 0.66; 95% CI, 0.44-0.98; p = 0.039) strokes. Alcohol consumption was not significantly associated with hemorrhagic strokes. After age stratification, alcohol consumption was protective against total and ischemic strokes in men aged ≥55 years old, with the risk of each stroke type decreasing by 46 and 49%, respectively. Low-dose alcohol consumption was inversely associated with both total and ischemic stroke risks, with the risks decreasing by 56 and 65%, respectively. Alcohol consumption was not significantly associated with strokes among men aged <55 years old.
These findings suggest that low-dose alcohol consumption may decrease the risk of ischemic strokes among men. Additionally, the effects of alcohol consumption on stroke risk vary with age, protecting against ischemic and total strokes among males ≥55 years old.
Source: Lu H, Ni J, Yang Q, Qiu S, Lin Q, Liu J, Tu J, Ning X, Wang J. Alcohol Consumption and Stroke Risk in Men: A Population-Based Cohort Study in Rural Tianjin, China. Neuroepidemiology. 2021 Jun 15:1-9.
All text and images © 2003 Alcohol In Moderation.