Page last updated: August 19, 2013
Alcohol, caffeine and sudden cardiac death

Moderate alcohol and caffeine intake do not play a role in the development of sudden cardiac death (SCD) in women, a study found.     

Researchers examined the association between long-term alcohol and caffeine intakes and risk of SCD in women. They examined 93,676 postmenopausal women who participated in the Women’s Health Initiative Observational Study. Women were enrolled between 1993 and 1998 and were followed until August 2009. Women completed a food-frequency questionnaire at baseline and again at year 3. 

Moderate intake of 5–15 g alcohol a day was associated with a reduced risk of SCD compared with non drinkers 0.1–5 g/d of baseline intake (HR: 0.64; 95% CI: 0.40, 1.02), of cumulative average intake (HR: 0.69; 95% CI: 0.43, 1.11), and of most recent intake (HR: 0.58; 95% CI: 0.35, 0.96), with adjustment for age, race, income, smoking, body mass index, physical activity, hormone use, and total energy. No association was found between SCD and total caffeine intake (mg/d) or cups of caffeinated coffee, decaffeinated coffee, and caffeinated tea.

The results suggest that about one drink per day (or 5.1–15 g/d) may be associated with a reduced risk of SCD in this population; however, this association was only statistically significant for a model using the most recent alcohol intake. Total caffeine, regular coffee, decaffeinated coffee, and regular tea intake were not associated with the risk of SCD.

Source: Long-term alcohol and caffeine intake and risk of sudden cardiac death in women. Bertoia ML, Triche EW, Michaud DS, Baylin A, Hogan JW, Neuhouser ML, Freiberg MS, Allison MA, Safford MM, Li W, Mossavar-Rahmani Y, Rosal MC, Eaton CB. Am J Clin Nutr. 2013 Jun;97(6):1356-63. doi: 10.3945/ajcn.112.044248. Epub 2013 Apr 24.

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