To examine the association between alcohol consumption and total mortality among Korean adults.
Patients included 19,828 subjects of the Korean Multi-center Cancer Cohort who were cancer-free at baseline enrollment reported their lifestyle factors between 1993 and 2008, including the status of alcohol consumption primarily from the national death certificate. Alcohol consumption (ie, soju, beer, wine, sake, gin, takju) was assessed at cohort entry using a questionnaire. Two thousand six hundred seventy-six were excluded on the grounds that they were founded out as having no data about amount of alcohol consumption. Final study populations are 17,152. Cox proportional hazard regression model was used to estimate the hazard ratio (HR) of alcohol consumption for total mortality as adjusted for age, gender, the geographic area and the smoking status, the education level and the body mass index (BMI).
During the follow-up period, including 499 cancer mortality cases with a total of 151,150 person-years, 7,044 subjects (41.1%) were considered as drinkers and the majority drank soju (70.4%). Alcohol consumption was significantly associated with an increased risk of total mortality (p-trend < 0.05). Past and current drinkers compared with no drinking was associated with an increased risk of total mortality (past drinker: HR, 1.40; 95% CI, 1.12 to 1.75, current drinker: HR, 1.20; 95% CI, 1.03 to 1.39). The increased risk of mortality appeared to be greater among current smoking (HR, 1.51; 95% CI, 1.27 to 1.79) and old (HR, 1.08; 95% CI, 1.07 to 1.09) and lived women in some specific areas. The amount of alcohol intake was possibly associated with total mortality (>504g/wk : HR, 1.08; 95% CI, 0.90 to 1.29).
Conclusions:Consuming alcohol may increase the risk of total mortality, particularly among smoking and old women in Korea, yet the effects of alcohol amount on mortality were suggested.