Purpose: The risks of alcohol consumption and its association with stroke were studied in 621 patients with stroke and 573 control subjects using case-control methods.
Patients and methods: Patients with stroke were subdivided into 193 with subarachnoid hemorrhage, 91 with intracerebral hemorrhage, and 337 with cerebral infarction. Data on recent alcohol consumption were obtained by questionnaire in patients with stroke and compared with data from an occupational screening survey in control subjects.
Results: Relative risks, adjusted for confounding variables, exhibited J-shaped associations with increasing levels of alcohol consumption classified into four categories--abstainer, 1 to 90 g, 100 to 390 g, and greater than or equal to 400 g weekly). The individual risks were 1, 0.7, 0.5, and 1.3 for subarachnoid hemorrhage; 1.0, 0.6, 0.5., and 2.5 for intracerebral hemorrhage, and 1.0, 0.6, 0.7, and 2.4 for cerebral infarction for men and women combined.
Conclusions: The results suggest that low levels of alcohol consumption may have some protective effect upon the cerebral vasculature, whereas heavy consumption predisposes to both hemorrhagic and non-hemorrhagic stroke.