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08-04-2017 | Risk factors | News

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Moderate weekly alcohol consumption linked to reduced diabetes risk

medwireNews: People who consume alcohol with moderate frequency have a lower risk for diabetes than those who drink less regularly, researchers report.

In an analysis of data from 70,551 participants of the Danish Health Examination Survey, Janne Tolstrup (University of Southern Denmark, Copenhagen) and colleagues found that men who reported drinking alcohol on 3–4 days per week had a 27% reduced risk for diabetes compared with those drinking less than once per week after adjustment for confounders and the average weekly amount of alcohol consumed.

Similarly, women consuming alcohol on 3–4 days per week had an adjusted 32% lower risk for diabetes than those who reported drinking less than once a week, report the researchers in Diabetologia.

Although these findings provide evidence for a link between frequency of alcohol consumption and diabetes risk, Tolstrup and colleagues caution that “confounding may contribute” to the observed associations.

Commenting on the study, Graham Wheeler, Bayesian medical statistician from University College London, UK, told the press that the study “does not prove a causal link” between alcohol consumption and diabetes risk, and noted that participants may have under- or over-estimated their drinking habits. He also emphasized that “alcohol has been linked to the increased risk of alcoholic hepatitis, liver cirrhosis and several cancers.”

And Amitava Banerjee, senior clinical lecturer in clinical data science and honorary consultant cardiologist, also from University College London, added: “When considering alcohol intake, we should take into account all of the possible long-term health consequences, not just diabetes.”

By Claire Barnard

medwireNews is an independent medical news service provided by Springer Healthcare. © 2017 Springer Healthcare part of the Springer Nature group

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