The association between alcohol consumption and Coronary Heart Disease (CHD) has been broadly studied. Most studies conclude that moderate alcohol intake reduces the risk of CHD. There are many discussions on whether the association is causal or biased. The objective is to analyse the association between alcohol intake and risk of CHD in the Spanish cohort of the European Prospective Investigation into Cancer (EPIC).
Participants from the EPIC Spanish cohort were included (15,630 men and 25,808 women). The median follow up period was 10 years. Ethanol intake was calculated using a validated dietary history questionnaire. Participants with a definite CHD event were considered cases. A Cox regression model was performed adjusted for relevant covariables and stratified by age. Separate models were carried out for men and women.
Results Crude incidence rate of CHD was 300.6/100,000 person-years for men and 47.9/100, 000 person-years for women. Moderate, high and very high consumption was associated with a reduce risk of CHD in men: HR 0.86 (95% CI= 0.54-1.38) for former drinkers, 0.64 (95% CI= 0.4-1.0) for low, 0.47 (95% CI= 0.31-0.73) for moderate, 0.45 (95% CI= 0.29-0.69) for high and 0.49 (95% CI= 0.28-0.86) for very high consumers. In women a negative association was found with p values above 0.05 in all categories.
Conclusions In men aged 29-69 years, alcohol intake was associated with a more than 30% lower CHD incidence. Our study is based on a large prospective cohort study and is free of the abstainer error.
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