Friday, 11 August 2017 09:52

Mediterranean drinking pattern can lower risk of falls in elderly

The current prospective study shows that both moderate drinking and a Mediterranean diet are associated with a lower number of falls and a lower risk of falls in older Spanish adults.

Spanish epidemiologists examined the association between certain patterns of alcohol consumption, including the Mediterranean drinking pattern (MDP), and the risk of falls in older adults. The community-dwelling individuals (age ≥60 years) were followed up for an average of 3.3 years. The MDP was defined as moderate consumption of alcoholic beverages (*) (threshold between moderate and heavy intake was 40 g/day for men and 24 g/day for women) with a preference for wine and drinking only with meals. The results showed that compared to never drinkers, the risk of falls was 21 % lower in moderate drinkers and 27 % lower in drinkers with MDP. The risk of falls requiring medical care was lowered by 33 % in moderate drinkers and by 39 % in drinkers with a MDP. Even though the specific reasons are not known, moderate wine consumption could positively influence falls through different mechanism, such as protective effects on the cardiovascular system, diabetes, osteoporosis, less dementia and a greater functional capacity.

(*) In this study, moderate consumption was defined as:

Up to 40 g of ethanol/ day for men and up to 24 g of ethanol for women

Ortolá R, García-Esquinas E, Galán I, et al. Patterns of alcohol consumption and risk of falls in older adults: a prospective cohort study. Osteoporos Int. 2017 Jul 19. [Epub ahead of print]

For more information about this article, read the scientific abstract here.


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