A pooled analysis of six ongoing large-scale cohort studies in Japan was undertaken in order to produce
concrete estimates of the quantitative contribution of alcohol consumption to all-cause and major causes
of mortality in the Japanese population.
Of the 309,082 subjects, there were 35,801 deaths during 3,832,285 person-years of follow-up. Using a
random-effect model, the researchers conducted a meta-analysis of the HRs of each alcohol consumption
category in each study, thereby obtaining pooled estimates for the risk of total and major causes of
mortality due to alcohol consumption.
There was a J- or U-shaped association for the risk of total and major causes of mortality in men,
and the risk of total and heart disease mortality in women. Compared with non-drinkers, there was a
significantly lower risk for total mortality at an alcohol
consumption level of <69 g/day, cancer mortality at
<46 g/day, heart disease mortality at <69 g/day and
cerebrovascular disease mortality at <46 g/day in
men, and for total mortality at <23 g/day in women.
In addition, mortality risk increased linearly with rising alcohol dose among drinkers. It was estimated
that 5% of total mortality, 3% of cancer mortality, 2%
of heart disease mortality and 9% of cerebrovascular
disease mortality in men, but only 0–1% of these risks
in women, could be prevented by reducing alcohol
consumption to <46 g/day in men and <23 g/day in
The authors conclude that maintaining alcohol consumption below 46 g/day in men and 23 g/day in
women appears to minimise the risks of mortality in
the Japanese population.
Source: Impact of alcohol intake on total mortality and
mortality from major causes in Japan: a pooled analysis
of six large-scale cohort studies. Journal Of Epidemiology
And Community Health. May 2012, Volume 66, Issue 5