To analyze the relationship between an aspect of drinking pattern (i.e., drinking with or without meals) and risk of all-cause and specific-cause mortality.
The Risk Factors and Life Expectancy Study, is a pooling of a series of epidemiological studies conducted in Italy. Eight-thousand six-hundred and forty-seven men and 6521 women, age 30-59 at baseline, and free of cardiovascular disease, were followed for mortality from all causes, cardiovascular and noncardiovascular, during an average follow-up of 7 years.
Drinkers of wine outside meals exhibited higher death rates from all causes, noncardiovascular diseases, and cancer, as compared to drinkers of wine with meals. This association was independent from the cardiovascular disease (CVD) risk factors measured at baseline and the amount of alcohol consumed and seemed to be stronger in women as compared to men.
The present results indicate that drinking patterns may have important health implications, and attention should be given to this aspect of alcohol use and its relationship to health outcomes. The relationship between alcohol consumption and disease has been the focus of intensive scientific investigation (1-9). Most studies to date, however, have limitations. A major drawback is that limited information has been collected regarding the complex issue of alcohol consumption. In many studies, ascertainment of alcohol consumption frequently focused only on quantity of alcohol consumed without considering the many different components of alcohol consumption, particularly drinking pattern (10-12). It has been hypothesized, and preliminary data support the notion, that drinking pattern could have important influences on determining the health effects of alcohol (13,14). The present study examines the relationship between one aspect of drinking pattern (drinking wine outside meals) and mortality in a large cohort of men and women.