Objective: This study examines the associations between alcohol consumption, Type 2 diabetes and hypertension in a native American population.
Method: Data were collected in a population-based cross-sectional and prospective study conducted on 3,789 individuals aged > or = 20 years. Reported alcohol consumption was classified as never, occasional or < 1 a day, 1-2 drinks a day, > or = 3 drinks a day, and occasional heavy drinking. The prevalence and incidence of diabetes and hypertension by categories of alcohol intake were determined.
Results: About 68% of men and 39% of women reported some degree of alcohol consumption. There was no association between alcohol consumption and prevalence or incidence of diabetes, but a positive, statistically significant association between blood pressure and alcohol consumption was found in both genders. After adjustment for age, body mass index (BMI) and diabetes in a proportional hazards model in men, moderate drinkers (occasional or < 1 drink a day and 1-2 drinks a day combined) had 1.24 (95% confidence interval: 0.98-1.57) and occasional heavy drinkers had 1.49 (1.02-2.17) times the incidence of hypertension as nondrinkers. The corresponding estimates of hypertension incidence for women were 1.53 (1.29-1.83) for moderate drinking and 1.38 (0.81-2.36) for occasional heavy drinking. As only 1% of participants reported > or = 3 drinks a day, this group was excluded from these analyses.
Conclusions: Alcohol consumption did not affect the development of Type 2 diabetes, but it was associated with increased risk of hypertension, and this effect was independent of diabetes or BMI in both genders.