Purpose: To analyze the relation between alcohol consumption and the risk of disability pension among middle-aged men.
Methods: In the mid-seventies, complete birth-year cohorts of middle-aged male residents in Malmö, Sweden, were invited to participate in a general health survey. The 3751 men with complete data who constituted the cohort in this study were followed for 11 years. Alcohol consumption was estimated from the scores obtained from a test designed to identify subjects with alcohol related problems.
Results: Of the 498 men granted disability pension during follow-up, 48 stated to be teetotalers. The cumulative incidence of disability pension among teetotalers was 19%, whereas, it was 12% and 16%, respectively, among men with low and high alcohol consumption. The adjusted relative risk (RR) for acquiring a disability pension (using the group with low alcohol consumption as reference) was 1.8 among abstainers and 1.3 among men with high alcohol consumption.
Conclusions: Alcohol overconsumption, as well as teetotalism, showed a positive relation to disability pension, and a moderate alcohol intake was found to be beneficial with respect to the risk of future disability pension.