The Association of Alcohol Consumption and Incident Heart Failure. The Cardiovascular Health Study

Chris L. Bryson, Kenneth J. Mukamal, Murray A. Mittleman, Linda P. Fried, Calvin H. Hirsch, Dalane W. Kitzman, David S. Siscovick

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

93 Scopus citations


Objectives: We investigated the association between alcohol consumption and incident congestive heart failure (CHF) both overall and after adjusting for incident myocardial infarction (MI). Background: Moderate alcohol consumption has been associated with lower risk of CHF and MI. Methods: The Cardiovascular Health study, a prospective cohort study of cardiovascular disease risk factors and outcomes, followed 5,888 subjects ≥65 years old for 7 to 10 years. Cox models were used to estimate the adjusted risk of CHF by reported alcohol consumption. Results: There were 5,595 subjects at baseline at risk for incident CHF with alcohol data and 1,056 events during follow-up. Compared with abstainers, the adjusted risk of CHF was lower among subjects who reported consuming 1 to 6 drinks per week (hazard ratio [HR] 0.82, 95% confidence interval [CI] 0.67 to 1.00, p = 0.05) and 7 to 13 drinks per week (HR 0.66, 95% CI 0.47 to 0.91, p = 0.01). Time-dependent adjustment for incident MI altered only slightly the association between moderate alcohol consumption and CHF (for 1 to 6 drinks per week, HR 0.84, 95% CI 0.65 to 1.04; for 7 to 13 drinks per week, HR 0.69, 95% CI 0.49 to 0.99). Baseline former drinkers had a higher risk of CHF than abstainers (HR 1.51, p < 0.01), but those who quit during the study did not have a higher risk (HR 0.83, 95% CI 0.66 to 1.03). Conclusions: Moderate alcohol use is associated with a lower risk of incident CHF among older adults, even after accounting for incident MI and other factors.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)305-311
Number of pages7
JournalJournal of the American College of Cardiology
Issue number2
StatePublished - Jul 18 2006
Externally publishedYes

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Cardiology and Cardiovascular Medicine


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