Amount of alcohol consumption and risk of developing alcoholism in men and women.
Aims: It is generally accepted, but not yet documented that the risk of future alcoholism increases with the amount of alcohol consumed. The objective of this study was to investigate this association using the Copenhagen City Heart Study.
Methods: Quantity and frequency of alcohol intake was measured in 19 698 men and women randomly drawn from the Copenhagen Population Register in 1976-78. The study population was linked to three different registers in order to detect alcoholism, and average follow-up time was 25 years.
Results: After adjustment for all putative confounders, the risk of alcoholism for women increased significantly at 1-7 drinks per week with a hazard ratio (HR) of 2.02 (95% confidence interval (CI): 1.16, 3.53) compared to never/almost never drinking; the HR for drinking monthly was 1.75 (95% CI: 1.08, 2.85).
The risk for men did not increase significantly before 22-41 drinks per week (HR = 3.81, 95 % CI: 2.18, 6.68) or if they had a daily alcohol intake (HR = 3.55, 95 % CI: 2.11, 5.99). Smoking was independently associated with the risk of alcoholism for both men and women.
Conclusion: The risk of developing alcoholism increased significantly by very low intakes of alcohol in women, while the risk is only increased significantly in men consuming more than 21 drinks per week.
Flensborg-Madsen T, Knop J, Mortensen EL, Becker U, Gronbaek M. Amount of alcohol consumption and risk of developing alcoholism in men and women. Alcohol Alcohol. 2007 May 9;