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Higher quality of life seen among regular moderate drinkers than among abstainers
Date:6/22/2012

Data from a nationally representative sample of 5,404 community-dwelling Canadians ages 50 and older at baseline (1994/1995) was used to estimate the effects of alcohol drinking patterns on quality of life when subjects were aged =50 years and after a follow-up period. Health-related quality of life was assessed with the Health Utilities Index Mark 3 (HUI3). The authors report that most participants showed stable alcohol-consumption patterns over 6 years.

Detailed information was available on the participants alcohol consumption. Moderate drinkers were defined as those having 1 drinks per week with no more than 3 on any day for women and no more than 4 on any day for men. The repeated assessments allowed for the investigators to classify subjects according to changes over time in their drinking patterns, so that "persistent moderate drinkers" could be identified. 31.4% of the subjects decreased their intake over the follow-up period. The investigators also did secondary analyses among subjects who did not report any adverse health conditions (heart disease, cancer, stroke, or diabetes) during the first four years of follow up; these subjects were referred to as "consistently healthy."

Regular moderate drinkers had the highest indices of quality of life at baseline, but subsequent changes in quality of life indicators were similar in all groups except for those reporting decreasing alcohol consumption. The investigators conclude that regular moderate drinkers had higher initial levels of health-related quality of life than abstainers and those in other groups. However, rates of decline over time were similar for all groups except those decreasing their consumption from moderate levels, who showed a greater decline in their level of health-related quality of life than regular moderate users.

While Forum reviewers admired the intent of this study, there were concerns about some of the statistical and epidemiologic aspects. The rea
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Contact: R Curtis Ellison
ellison@bu.edu
Boston University Medical Center
Source:Eurekalert

Page: 1 2

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