Background Moderate alcohol consumption is associated with a decreased risk of type 2 diabetes. However, the relationship between drinking patterns, such as the weekly frequency of alcohol consumption and the quantity per drinking day, and the incidence of type 2 diabetes has not been sufficiently addressed.
Methods Study participants included 10 631 Japanese men aged 40–55 years without type 2 diabetes at entry. Type 2 diabetes was diagnosed if a fasting plasma glucose level was ≥7.0 mmol/l or if participants were taking diabetes medications. Data on alcohol consumption were obtained from questionnaires.
Results During the 37 172 person-years of follow-up, we confirmed 878 cases of type 2 diabetes. Frequent alcohol consumption was associated with a low risk of type 2 diabetes. Compared to non-drinkers, the multiple-adjusted HR for those who drank 4–7 days weekly was 0.76 (95% CI, 0.63 to 0.92). To assess the association between drinking pattern and type 2 diabetes, we examined the joint association of the weekly frequency and the quantity per drinking day with type 2 diabetes. Men who consumed 0.1–2.0 or 2.1–4.0 US standard drinks per drinking day on 4–7 days weekly had a lower risk of type 2 diabetes (HR 0.74, 95% CI 0.58 to 0.95; HR 0.74, 95% CI 0.60 to 0.91, respectively) compared to non-drinkers.
Conclusions More frequent alcohol consumption lowered the risk of type 2 diabetes. Light to moderate alcohol consumption per drinking day on 4–7 days weekly lowered the risk of type 2 diabetes compared to non-drinkers.
- Alcohol drinking
- type 2 diabetes
- cohort study
- alcohol & health
- cohort ME
- diabetes DI
- epidemiology FQ
- risk prediction
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Funding This work was supported by Grant-in-Aid for Scientific Research (17390177, 20390187) from the Ministry of Education, Culture, Sports, Science and Technology. The funding sources had no role in the study design; in the collection, analysis and interpretation data; in the writing of the report; or in the decision to submit the paper for publication. This work was supported by the facilities and services provided by the Kansai Health Administration Center at Nippon Telegraph and Telephone West Corporation.
Competing interests None.
Ethics approval This study was conducted with the approval of the Osaka City University.
Provenance and peer review Not commissioned; externally peer reviewed.