Abstract W MP64: Incident Stroke and Alcohol Consumption among Older Adults
Background: Alcohol consumption may reduce the risk of stroke. While both stroke and alcohol consumption patterns differ by race and sex, it is not known to what extent alcohol consumption contributes to the elevated risk of stroke in some groups, particularly in men and blacks in general.
Methods: Risk of stroke was studied in 25,162 black and white adults aged 45+, in the REasons for Geographic And Racial Differences in Stroke (REGARDS) study. Information on alcohol consumption was obtained by telephone interview at baseline. Participants are contacted every 6 months by telephone for self- or proxy-reported stroke; medical records are retrieved and adjudicated by physicians Proportional hazard models, adjusted for demographic, socioeconomic, and stroke risk factors , were used.
Results: Participants’ mean age was 64.7 years; 40% were black and 56% were women with 867 stroke events and a median follow-up time of 7.6 years. Compared to current drinkers, non-drinkers had 36% higher hazards of incident stroke which was significantly higher consistent across all race-sex groups except black men. Risks were particularly high among past drinkers (50% higher than among current drinkers), as would be expected since many may have stopped drinking due to health problems. However, risks were also elevated among lifetime abstainers. Differences in stroke risks were explained by demographic and socioeconomic differences between drinkers and non-drinkers. Among those who are current drinkers, those who consumed <1 drink per week had significantly lower hazards of stroke than moderate drinkers, and these protective factors remained marginally significant after accounting for demographic, socioeconomic, behavioral and health characteristics.
Conclusions: Results suggest that individuals who do not currently consume alcohol may experience higher risks of stroke, which may be due in part due to socio-demographic and other characteristics associated with consuming alcohol.
Author Disclosures: S.A. Cunningham: None. A. Mosher: None. S.E. Judd: None. L.M. Matz: None. E.K. Kabagambe: None. C.S. Moy: None. V.J. Howard: None.
- © 2015 by American Heart Association, Inc.