Alcohol consumption and risk for congestive heart failure in the Framingham Heart Study

Craig R. Walsh, Martin G. Larson, Jane C. Evans, Luc Djousse, R. Curtis Ellison, Ramachandran S. Vasan, Daniel Levy

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

177 Scopus citations

Abstract

Background: Although excessive alcohol consumption can promote cardiomyopathy, little is known about the association between alcohol consumption and risk for congestive heart failure in the community. Objective: To determine the relation between alcohol consumption and risk for congestive heart failure in the community. Design: Community-based, prospective observational study. Setting: Framingham, Massachusetts. Participants: Participants in the Framingham Heart Study who were free of congestive heart failure and coronary heart disease. Measurements: Self-reported alcohol consumption; sex-specific rates of congestive heart failure per 1000 person-years of follow-up by level of alcohol consumption. Results: In men, 99 cases of congestive heart failure occurred during 26 035 person-years of follow-up. In women, 120 cases of congestive heart failure occurred during 35 563 person-years of follow-up. After adjustment for multiple confounders, risk for congestive heart failure was lower among men at all levels of alcohol consumption compared with men who consumed less than 1 drink/wk. The hazard ratio for congestive heart failure was lowest among men who consumed 8 to 14 drinks/wk (0.41 [95% Cl, 0.21 to 0.81]) compared with those who consumed less than 1 drink/wk. In women, the age-adjusted hazard ratio for congestive heart failure was lowest among those who consumed 3 to 7 drinks/wk (0.49 [Cl, 0.25 to 0.96]) compared with those who consumed less than 1 drink/wk. However, after adjustment for multiple predictors of congestive heart failure, this association was no longer statistically significant. Conclusions: In the community, alcohol consumption is not associated with increased risk for congestive heart failure, even among heavy drinkers (≥15 drinks/wk in men and ≥ 8 drinks/wk in women). To the contrary, when consumed in moderation, alcohol appears to protect against congestive heart failure.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)181-191
Number of pages11
JournalAnnals of internal medicine
Volume136
Issue number3
DOIs
StatePublished - Feb 5 2002
Externally publishedYes

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Internal Medicine

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