Background: Chronic kidney disease (CKD) is a major global public health burden, but there is limited understanding of the relationship of alcohol consumption with CKD.
Methods: In this cross-sectional multivariable study, all participants of a health check-up program in Ditmanson Medical Foundation Chia-Yi Christian Hospital in Taiwan from 2003 to 2009 (15,353 women and 11,900 men) were included for analysis. Estimated glomerular filtration rate was used to define CKD stage and history of alcohol consumption was obtained by self-reporting. Multivariable logistic regression analyses of gender-specific association of alcohol drinking with stage 3 CKD were conducted. A trend tests was conducted to check the dose-response relationship of alcohol consumption with renal disease. A sensitivity test was conducted to rule out the likelihood of reverse causality.
Results: The prevalence of stage 3 CKD was lower in drinkers than non-drinkers (p < 0.001) and the percentage of drinkers with stage 3 CKD was less than that of non-drinkers. Multivariable analysis indicated that alcohol consumption was negatively associated with the presence of stage 3 CKD in men (adjusted odds ratio [aOR] for occasional drinking: 0.68, 95% CI: 0.59 ~ 0.78, p < 0.001; aOR for frequent drinking: 0.47, 95% CI: 0.35 ~ 0.63, p < 0.001). Advanced age, hypertension, anemia, BMI of at least 24, hyperuricemia, and proteinuria were also associated with stage 3 CKD in men. Trend tests indicated lower odds of having stage 3 CKD with increased alcohol consumption in both genders. Subgroup analyses and sensitivity tests also indicated the reverse association between alcohol consumption and stage 3 CKD in men regardless of age, diabetes status, and other risky behaviors.
Conclusions: Alcohol consumption was inversely associated with stage 3 CKD in Taiwanese men. However, considering the potential of other health damage with alcohol consumption, the current results should be interpreted cautiously.