Alcohol and Incident Heart Failure among Middle-Aged and Elderly Men: Cohort of Swedish Men

Academic Article


  • Background-Compared with no alcohol consumption, heavy alcohol intake is associated with a higher rate of heart failure (HF) whereas light-to-moderate intake may be associated with a lower rate. However, several prior studies did not exclude former drinkers, who may have changed alcohol consumption in response to diagnosis. This study aimed to investigate the association between alcohol intake and incident HF. Methods and Results-We conducted a prospective cohort study of 33 760 men aged 45 to 79 years with no HF, diabetes mellitus, or myocardial infarction at baseline participating in the Cohort of Swedish Men Study. We excluded former drinkers. At baseline, participants completed a food frequency questionnaire and reported other characteristics. HF was defined as hospitalization for or death from HF, ascertained by Swedish inpatient and cause-of-death records from January 1, 1998, through December 31, 2011. We constructed Cox proportional hazards models to estimate multivariable-adjusted incidence rate ratios. During follow-up, 2916 men were hospitalized for (n=2139) or died (n=777) of incident HF. There was a U-shaped relationship between total alcohol intake and incident HF (P=0.0004). There was a nadir at light-to-moderate alcohol intake: consuming 7 to <14 standard drinks per week was associated with a 19% lower multivariable-adjusted rate of HF compared with never drinking (incidence rate ratio, 0.81; 95% confidence interval, 0.69-0.96). Conclusions-In this cohort of Swedish men, there was a U-shaped relationship between alcohol consumption and HF incidence, with a nadir at light-to-moderate intake. Heavy intake did not seem protective.
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    Digital Object Identifier (doi)

    Author List

  • Dorans KS; Mostofsky E; Levitan EB; HÃ¥kansson N; Wolk A; Mittleman MA
  • Start Page

  • 422
  • End Page

  • 427
  • Volume

  • 8
  • Issue

  • 3