Alcohol Consumption and Risk of Stroke in Women
Background and Purpose—Light-to-moderate alcohol consumption has been consistently associated with lower risk of heart disease, but data for stroke are less certain. A lower risk of stroke with light-to-moderate alcohol intake has been suggested, but the dose response among women remains uncertain and the data in this subgroup have been sparse.
Methods—A total of 83 578 female participants of the Nurses' Health Study who were free of diagnosed cardiovascular disease and cancer at baseline were followed-up from 1980 to 2006. Data on self-reported alcohol consumption were assessed at baseline and updated approximately every 4 years, whereas stroke and potential confounder data were updated at baseline and biennially. Strokes were classified according to the National Survey of Stroke criteria.
Results—We observed 2171 incident strokes over 1 695 324 person-years. In multivariable adjusted analyses, compared to abstainers, the relative risks of stroke were 0.83 (95% CI, 0.75–0.92) for <5 g/d, 0.79 (95% CI, 0.70–0.90) for 5 to 14.9 g/d, 0.87 (0.72–1.05) for 15 to 29.9 g/d, and 1.06 (95% CI, 0.86–1.30) for 30 to 45 g/d. Results were similar for ischemic and hemorrhagic stroke.
Conclusions—Light-to-moderate alcohol consumption was associated with a lower risk of total stroke. In this population of women with modest alcohol consumption, an elevated risk of total stroke related to alcohol was not observed.
- Received September 19, 2011.
- Accepted December 22, 2011.
- © 2012 American Heart Association, Inc.