Page last updated: August 16, 2017
Binge drinking and total alcohol consumption may be associated with elevated fasting plasma glucose in women

Studies have indicated that moderate alcohol consumption is associated with lower incidence of diabetes in women. However, not only the amount but also the drinking pattern could be of importance when assessing the longitudinal relation between alcohol and glucose. There is also a lack of studies on alcohol use beginning in adolescence on adult glucose levels. A recent study examined the association between total alcohol consumption and binge drinking between ages 16 and 43 and fasting plasma glucose at age 43.

Data were retrieved from a 27-year prospective cohort study, the Northern Swedish Cohort. In 1981, all 9th grade students (n = 1083) within a municipality in Sweden were invited to participate. There were reassessments at ages 18, 21, 30 and 43. This particular study sample consisted of 897 participants (82.8%). Fasting plasma glucose (mmol/L) was measured at a health examination at age 43. Total alcohol consumption (in grams) and binge drinking were calculated from alcohol consumption data obtained from questionnaires.

Descriptive analyses showed that men had higher levels of fasting plasma glucose compared to women. Men also reported higher levels of alcohol consumption and binge drinking behaviour. After adjustment for BMI, hypertension and smoking at age 43, linear regressions showed that total alcohol consumption in combination with binge drinking between ages 16 and 43 was associated with elevated fasting plasma glucose at age 43 in women) but not in men. The researchers findings indicate that reducing binge drinking and alcohol consumption among young and middle-aged women with the highest consumption might be metabolically favourable for their future glucose metabolism.

Source: Binge drinking and total alcohol consumption from 16 to 43 years of age are associated with elevated fasting plasma glucose in women: results from the northern Swedish cohort study. K Nygren, A Hammarström and O Rolandsson. BMC Public Health, BMC series – open, inclusive and trusted. 201717:509 DOI: 10.1186/s12889- 017-4437-y

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