Alcohol Consumption and Risk of First-Time Venous Thromboembolism in Men and Women
Background The relationship between alcohol intake and risk of venous thromboembolism (VTE) is unclear. Men and women differ in their drinking habits, which may affect a possible association. Objective This article investigates the association between alcohol consumption, alcohol dependence and VTE in the total population as well as in men and women separately. Methods We performed a prospective, population-based cohort study in northern Sweden. Study participants were 108,025 (51% women) persons aged 30 to 60 years who underwent a health examination between 1985 and 2014. We assessed alcohol consumption and defined alcohol dependence using a questionnaire. The outcome was a validated first-time VTE. Results The mean follow-up time was 13.9 years, and 2,054 participants had a first-time VTE. The mean alcohol consumption was 3.5 standard drinks weekly in men and 1.5 in women. Alcohol dependence was found in 10% of men and 3% of women. There was an association between alcohol consumption (hazard ratio [HR], 1.02; 95% confidence interval [CI], 1.00-1.03 per standard drink weekly) as well as alcohol dependence (HR, 1.27; 95% CI, 1.06-1.52) and VTE after adjustments. In men, the risk of VTE increased over quartiles of weekly alcohol consumption (p for trend 0.02), with a HR of 1.22 (95% CI, 1.01-1.47) for the highest quartile. Alcohol dependence was associated with VTE in men (HR, 1.30; 95% CI, 1.07-1.59). In women, there were no significant associations. Conclusion High alcohol consumption and alcohol dependence were associated with increased risk of first-time VTE in men, but not in women.