Alcohol and Mortality: 11- Year Follow-up, Adults Age 50 + (16,304 Danish Men & Women)

Synopsis: The graph is based on a study to assess the relation between weekly alcohol intake and mortality among middle-aged and elderly Danes. Participants were divided amongst those who drank less than 1 drink/week; 1-6; 7-13; 14-27; 28-41; and 42 drinks or more. 16304 men and women aged 50 years or more. The effect of alcohol intake on mortality did not differ between middle-aged (50-64 years) and elderly subjects (>64 years old). Abstaining women had a relative risk of 1.29 as compared with light drinkers (1-6 drinks per week), while the relative risk for abstaining men was 1.22 as compared with light drinkers. Heavy drinking women (>28 drinks per week) had a relative risk of 1.23 and heavy drinking men (more than 69 drinks per week) had a relative risk of 2.11, both compared with light drinkers. The conclusion reached is that among the middle-aged and elderly women and men, a light alcohol intake is associated with lower mortality than abstention or heavy drinking.

[Source: Gronbaek, M., Deis, A., Becker, Y., Hein, H. O., Schnohr, P., Jensen, G., Borch-Johnsen, K., & Sorensen, T. I. (1998). Alcohol and mortality: is there a U-shaped relation in elderly people? Age and Ageing, 27, 739-744.]