Alcohol consumption and risk for venous thromboembolism: A meta-analysis of prospective studies
The association between alcohol consumption and venous thromboembolism (VTE) risk has been investigated by various observational studies with inconsistent results. We examined this association by performing a meta-analysis of prospective studies. A comprehensive literature search was carried out in the PubMed, EMBASE, and Web of Science from its inception to February 2020. Pooled effect estimates were calculated using a random effect model. Ten prospective studies (14 cohorts) were included in this meta-analysis with a total of 441,128 individuals and 10,221 VTE cases. Overall, the highest consumption of alcohol was not associated with the VTE risk compared with the lowest group [relative risk (RR), 0.96 (95% CI, 0.89–1.04), P = 0.293]. No obvious heterogeneity of RRs was observed across these studies (P = 0.249 for heterogeneity, I2 = 18.8%). Egger’s and Begg’s tests showed no evidence of publication bias (Egger, P = 0.443; Begg, P = 0.730). In the subgroup analysis by sex, a borderline significant association between alcohol consumption and VTE risk was observed in women [RR, 0.91 (95% CI, 0.82–1.00)]. In the dose–response analysis, we observed a linear decrease in VTE risk with increasing alcohol intake (P = 0.634 for nonlinearity). However, the reduced risk was not statistically significant. In conclusion, the results from this meta-analysis suggest that alcohol intake is not related with the risk of VTE. Further large well-designed cohort studies are warranted to investigate a potential protective role of alcohol against VTE in women.