Alcohol and stroke. A case-control study of drinking habits past and present.
Previous studies have reported a U-shaped relation between alcohol consumption and stroke. Those studies have been criticized for failing to distinguish between lifelong abstainers from alcohol and those who have given up drinking.
We examined current and previous drinking habits of 364 cases of acute stroke and 364 community-based control subjects matched for age, sex, and family practitioner.
Stroke patients were more likely to have been lifelong abstainers from alcohol than were the control subjects. The odds ratio (OR) or lifelong abstainers versus those who had ever drunk regularly was 2.36 (95% confidence interval [CI], 1.67 to 3.37). No relation was found between stroke and current nondrinkers. Current male heavy drinkers also had an increased risk of stroke (OR, 2.88; 95% CI, 1.08 to 2.31).
Lifelong abstention from alcohol is associated with an increased risk of stroke. Moderate alcohol consumption may protect against cerebrovascular disease.
- Copyright © 1993 by American Heart Association