Alcohol consumption and lower risk of cardiovascular and all-cause mortality: the impact of accounting for familial factors in twins
AuthorYstrøm, Eivind; Degerud, Eirik Magnus Meek; Tesli, Martin Steen; Høye, Anne; Reichborn-Kjennerud, Ted; Næss, Øyvind Erik
Methods. Alcohol consumption was assessed at two time points using self-report questionnaires in the Norwegian Twin Registry. Data on CVD mortality was obtained from the Norwegian Cause of Death Registry. Exposure–outcome associations for all-cause mortality and mortality due to other causes than CVD were estimated for comparison.
Results. Coming from a family with moderate to high alcohol consumption was protective against cardiovascular death (HR = 0.54, 95% CI 0.65–0.83). Moderate and high alcohol consumption levels were associated with a slightly increased risk of CVD mortality at the individual level (HR = 1.33, 95% CI 1.02–1.73). There was no association between alcohol consumption and all-cause mortality both at the familial nor at the individual level.
Conclusions. The protective association of moderate to high alcohol consumption with a lower risk of CVD mortality was accounted for by familial factors in this study of twins. Early life genetic and environmental familial factors may mask an absence of health effect of moderate to high alcohol consumption on cardiovascular mortality.