Moderate alcohol consumption minimizes risk of diabetes

alcohol and body

Dr. Ming Wei and colleagues studied a group of 8 663 subjects 30 to 79 years of age. They were patients who had been examined at least twice in the de Kuiper Hospital in Dallas, Texas U.S.A., between 1979 and 1995. They were mainly persons with a sedentary profession.

Patients were excluded if they had an abnormal at-rest and/or exertion ECG or if their case histories included diabetes and/or heart conditions. Alcohol consumption was determined by reference to a questionnaire designed to gauge drinking habits.

The patients were divided into five groups: non-drinkers and four groups of drinkers: Group 1 included patients with a consumption of 1 g to 61 g alcohol per week, which is roughly equivalent to a consumption of one to five drinks per week. Group 2 had a consumption of 62 g to 122 g alcohol per week, equivalent to 5 tot 10 drinks. Group 3 had 123 g to 276 g alcohol per week, which is equivalent to 10 to 21 drinks. Finally, the fourth group had more than 277 g alcohol per week, which is equivalent to 22 or more drinks per week. A total of 149 persons in the studied group developed diabetes. The relation between alcohol consumption and risk of diabetes followed a so-called “U-shaped curve”.

The subjects in the second group (with a moderate alcohol consumption of 5 to 10 drinks per week) were lowest-risk for diabetes.

Subjects in the third and fourth groups had, respectively, a 2.2 and a 2.4 times higher risk of diabetes than the second group. Compared with the first group (non-drinkers), the risk in Group 3 and 4 increased by a factor of 1.8.

Anyone who changes his or her alcohol consumption to go from Group 3 to Group 2 reduces the risk of diabetes 25%!

Source: Diabetes Care 2 3 :1 8–22, 2000


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