Background: Previous studies exploring usual alcohol consumption and falls risk were scarce in China. In addition, the dose-response relationship has not been explored so far. This study aims to estimate the association between usual alcohol consumption and risk of falls among middle-aged and older Chinese adults based on data from the China Health and Retirement Longitudinal Study (CHARLS), which is representative of the population of the entire country.
Methods: Baseline survey data in 2015 and follow-up data in 2018 in CHARLS were utilized. Alcohol consumption was calculated in grams per day (gr/day) according to self-reported drinking data and categorized accordingly to The Dietary Guidelines for Chinese Residents (DGC) 2016. Fall was obtained from self-reported information. Multivariable logistic regression analyses were performed to estimate the association of usual alcohol consumption with risk of falling. The dose-response relationship was also explored using restricted cubic splines.
Results: A total of 12,910 middle-aged and older participants were included from the CHARLS 2015, of which 11,667 were followed up in 2018. We found that former, moderate, and excessive drinkers were at higher fall risk compared to never drinkers (former: OR, 1.24; 95% CI, 1.05-1.46; moderate: OR, 1.22; 95% CI, 1.06-1.41; excessive: OR, 1.36; 95% CI, 1.15-1.61) in the longitudinal analysis. Similarly, individuals with moderate and excessive alcohol consumption were at increased risk of falling in the cross-sectional analysis (moderate: OR, 1.18; 95% CI, 1.02-1.37; excessive: OR, 1.32; 95% CI, 1.11,1.57). No significant increased risk of falls was found for former drinkers (former: OR, 1.13; 95% CI, 0.96-1.34). We observed a significant non-linear relationship.
Conclusions: Our study suggests that usual alcohol consumption was associated with a higher risk of falls, highlighting the key role of alcohol intake on the fall risk, which needed consideration in developing intervention and prevention strategies for reducing falls among middle-aged and older Chinese adults.
Keywords: Alcohol consumption; Falls; Longitudinal; Middle-aged and older adults.
© 2022. The Author(s).