A recent study conducted by researchers at the National Institute of Public Health of the University of Southern Denmark on the relationship between alcohol consumption and diabetes have found that frequent alcohol consumption is associated with a reduced risk of having diabetes. According to reports, the authors of the new study found that persons who consume alcohol at least 3 to 4 times a week are less likely to have diabetes.
It is reported by Science Daily that previous studies conducted on the topic found that moderate alcohol consumption is associated with a lower risk of diabetes. This is said to be in comparison to individuals who do not drink at all. However, previous findings have shown that heavy alcohol consumption is associated with a risk that is equal or even higher than that of abstainers.
Meanwhile, it is reported that the findings of previous studies, which only considered numbers of drinking days per week instead of the volume consumed in relation to diabetes are inconsistent. In addition, the report states that the findings of previous studies on the effects of certain types of beverage are also inconclusive. But the new study conducted by Professor Janne Tolstrup and her colleagues investigated the effects of drinking volumes on the risk of diabetes.
The researchers obtained the data used to conduct the study from DAHNES (the Danish Health Examination Survey) from 2007 to 2008. The data comprise of the self-reports of Danish citizens who are between the age of 18 and over on health and lifestyle. According to Medical Express, those who have been diagnosed with diabetes, pregnant women, recently given birth were excluded from the study. It is believed that these conditions could prevent such individuals from drinking.
The study involved 70,551 DAHNES participants who reported on their alcohol consumption as well as follow up information collected until 2012 with a median follow up of 4.9 years. The researchers distinguished between abstainers for a lifetime, and current abstinence so as to avoid bias in the findings as current abstinence could be as a result of rising medical conditions. The questionnaire also distinguished between the participant’s alcohol consumption frequencies: 1 day per week; 1-2 days per week; 3-4 days per week and 5-7 days per week.
The researchers further adjusted the data based on sex, age, the level of education, smoking status, body mass index, diet leisure time activity, family history of diabetes, as well as current or previous hypertension. The researchers found that 859 men and 887 women developed diabetes during the follow-up study. They also found that individuals who consumed alcohol moderately had the lowest risk of developing diabetes.
They also found that men who consumed 14 drinks per week have a 43% lower risk of diabetes compared to those who do not consume alcohol while women who consumed 9 drinks per week had a 58% lower risk compared to women who abstain from drinking. However, the authors found that those who consumed alcohol 3 to 4 days a week have a 27% lower risk of diabetes for men and a 32% in women compared to those who drink 1 day per week or less.
Meanwhile, the study authors found no relationship between binge drinking and the risk of diabetes. They believe that these may be due to the low statistical power, as only a few participants reported binge drinking. The researchers published their findings in Diabetologia – the journal of the European Association for the Study of Diabetes.