A recent study explored the association between alcohol consumption and the severity of diabetic retinopathy (DR). In a cross-sectional study, patients with type 2 diabetes answered questions on consumption of low and full-strength beer, white wine/champagne, red wine, fortified wines, and spirits. Never, moderate and high consumption of each alcoholic beverage, and overall alcoholic beverage consumption, were defined as <1, 1-14 and >14 standard drinks/ week, respectively. DR was categorised into none; non vision-threatening DR (VTDR) and VTDR. Multivariable logistic regression determined the associations between alcohol consumption and DR. Of the 395 participants 188 (47.6%) consumed alcohol and 235 had any DR. Compared to no alcohol consumption, moderate alcohol consumption (overall) was significantly associated with reduced odds of any DR (OR=0.47, 95% CI [confidence interval] 0.26-0.85). Moderate consumption of white wine/ champagne or fortified wine was also associated with reduced odds of any DR (OR=0.48, 95% CI 0.25-0.91, and OR=0.15, 95% CI 0.04-0.62, respectively). Similar results were observed for non-VTDR and VTDR. The amount and type of alcohol are associated with risk of DR in patients with type 2 diabetes. A longitudinal study is needed to assess the protective effect of alcohol consumption and DR, the authors argue. Source: Moderate consumption of white and fortified wine is associated with reduced odds of diabetic retinopathy.
Source: Fenwick EK, Xie J, Man RE, Lim LL, Flood VM, Finger RP, Wong TY, Lamoureux EL. J Diabetes Complications. 2015 Nov- Dec;29(8):1009-14. doi: 10.1016/j.jdiacomp.2015.09.001. Epub 2015 Sep 4.