Alcohol consumption, Type 2 diabetes mellitus and impaired glucose tolerance in middle-aged Swedish men

Diabet Med. 2000 Nov;17(11):776-81. doi: 10.1046/j.1464-5491.2000.00387.x.


Aims: To investigate the association between alcohol consumption and impaired glucose tolerance and Type 2 diabetes mellitus.

Methods: A population-based cross-sectional study consisting of 3,128 Swedish men, aged 35-56 years. Oral glucose tolerance testing identified 55 cases of Type 2 diabetes and 172 cases of impaired glucose tolerance. Information on alcohol consumption, family history of diabetes, smoking and physical activity was obtained by questionnaire.

Results: After adjustment for family history, smoking, physical activity and body mass index, the odds ratio of diabetes was 2.1 (95% confidence interval (CI) 1.0-4.5) in men with high consumption of alcohol (corresponding to over 12 drinks per week) and 0.7 (0.3-1.8) in moderate consumers (7-12 drinks), compared to occasional drinkers. For impaired glucose tolerance, the corresponding odds ratios were 0.7 (0.5-1.1) and 0.6 (0.4-1.0), respectively. Separate analyses for type of beverage indicated that high consumers of beer, spirits and wine had an odds ratio for diabetes of 2.9 (1.2-6.9), 3.3 (1.4-7.8) and 1.2 (0.5-2.7), respectively.

Conclusions: The results indicated that high consumption of alcohol increases the occurrence of Type 2 diabetes and that this may primarily concern consumption of beer and spirits. For impaired glucose tolerance, regular alcohol consumption was associated with a reduced prevalence, particularly at moderate levels.

MeSH terms

  • Adult
  • Alcohol Drinking*
  • Alcoholic Beverages
  • Beer
  • Cross-Sectional Studies
  • Diabetes Mellitus, Type 2 / diagnosis
  • Diabetes Mellitus, Type 2 / epidemiology*
  • Diabetes Mellitus, Type 2 / genetics
  • Exercise
  • Glucose Intolerance / diagnosis
  • Glucose Intolerance / epidemiology*
  • Glucose Tolerance Test
  • Humans
  • Middle Aged
  • Odds Ratio
  • Risk Factors
  • Smoking
  • Surveys and Questionnaires
  • Sweden / epidemiology
  • Wine