Risk drinking levels and sex are associated with cancer and liver, respiratory, and other medical conditions

BACKGROUND: Heavy alcohol use is associated with increased risk of alcohol-related health consequences. Alcohol consumption has increased in females in the last fifteen years and females are more likely to experience exacerbated health risks due to drinking. Our group identified that females with AUD were more likely to report respiratory conditions or cancers compared to their male counterparts. This analysis sought to further examine relationships between sex and alcohol use on medical conditions by using the new 2020 U.S. Dietary Guidelines risk drinking levels.

METHODS: Data from the U.S. National Epidemiologic Survey on Alcohol and Related Conditions (NESARC-III; n = 36,309) was used to evaluate associations between sex (female vs. male) and alcohol risk drinking levels (abstainer, binge, heavy, extreme binge vs. moderate drinking) on past year self-reported doctor-confirmed medical conditions).

RESULTS: Females were 1.5 to 2 times more likely to have pain, respiratory, or other medical conditions in the past year (odds ratio [OR]=1.46–2.11) vs. males. Significant interactions demonstrated that heavy drinking females or extreme binge drinking females were 2 to 3 times more likely to have cancers or other conditions (OR=1.95–2.69) vs. males at the same risk drinking level. Female abstainers were more likely than male abstainers to have other medical conditions (OR=1.77).

CONCLUSIONS: Consistent with our previous findings, results identify that higher risk drinking levels are associated with the presence of past year self-reported doctor-confirmed medical conditions spanning organ systems, particularly in females. Treatment for high-risk drinking should be considered in the clinical care of individuals with significant medical conditions.

Additional Info

  • Authors:

    Verplaetse, Terril L.;Roberts, Walter;Peltier, MacKenzie R.;Zakiniaeiz, Yasmin;Burke, Catherine;Moore, Kelly E.;Pittman, Brian;McKee, Sherry A.

  • Issue: Drug and Alcohol Dependence Reports, Volume 1, 2021, 100007,
  • Published Date: December 2021
  • More Information:

    For more information about this abstract, please contact
    This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it. at the Deutsche Weinakademie GmbH

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