Page last updated: August 14, 2018
Alcohol and type 2 diabetes: Socioeconomic, lifestyle and psychosocial factors

A study investigated (a) alcohol consumption in association with type 2 diabetes, taking heavy episodic drinking (HED), socioeconomic, health and lifestyle, and psychosocial factors into account, and (b) whether a seemingly protective effect of moderate alcohol consumption on type 2 diabetes persists when stratified by occupational position.

The population-based longitudinal cohort study was based on 16,223 Swedes aged 18–84 years who answered questionnaires about lifestyle, including alcohol consumption in 2002, and who were followedup for self-reported or register-based diabetes in 2003–2011. Odds ratios (ORs) with 95% confidence intervals (CIs) were estimated for all participants and stratified by high and low occupational position and adjusted for HED, socioeconomic (occupational position, cohabiting status and unemployment), health and lifestyle (body mass index (BMI), blood pressure, smoking, physical inactivity, poor general health, anxiety/depression and psychosocial (low job control and poor social support) characteristics.

Moderate consumption was inversely associated with type 2 diabetes after controlling for health and lifestyle (OR=0.47) and psychosocial factors (OR=0.40) when compared to non-drinkers. When adjusting forsocioeconomic factors, there was still an inverse but non-significant association (OR=0.59). In those with high occupational position, there was no significant association between moderate consumption and type 2 diabetes after adjusting for socioeconomic (OR=0.67), health and lifestyle (OR=0.70), and psychosocial factors (OR=0.75). On the contrary, in those with low occupational position, ORs decreased from 0.55 (95% CI: 0.28-1.1) to 0.35 (95% CI: 0.15–0.82) when adjusting for psychosocial factors, a decrease that was solely due to low job control. HED did not influence any of these associations.

The study results indicate that moderate alcohol consumption is associated with a lower risk of type 2 diabetes, after adjusting for heavy episodic drinking, health and lifestyle, and psychosocial characteristics. The association was inverse but non-significant after adjusting for socioeconomic factors. When stratified by occupational position, there was an inverse association only in those with low occupational position and after adjusting for low job control.

Source: Alcohol and type 2 diabetes: The role of socioeconomic, lifestyle and psychosocial factors. Emilie E. Agardh, Andreas Lundin, Anton Lager, Peter Allebeck, Ilona Koupil, Sven Andreasson, Claes-Göran Östenson, Anna-Karin Danielsson Scand J Public Health. 2018 May 1:1403494818774192. doi: 10.1177/1403494818774192.

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