Alcohol consumption and mortality in Japan: The Miyagi Cohort Study

Naoki Nakaya, Kayoko Kurashima, Junko Yamaguchi, Takayoshi Ohkubo, Yoshikazu Nishino, Yoshitaka Tsubono, Daisuke Shibuya, Shin Fukudo, Akira Fukao, Ichiro Tsuji, Shigeru Hisamichi

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24 Citations (Scopus)


Background: We examined the association between alcohol consumption and all-cause mortality in Japanese men and women. Methods: From June through August 1990, a total of 39,076 subjects (20,660 men and 18,416 women) in 14 municipalities of Miyagi Prefecture in rural northern Japan (40-64 years of age) completed a self-administered questionnaire that included information about alcohol consumption and various health habits. During 11 years of follow-up, we identified 1,879 deaths (1,335 men and 544 women). We used Cox proportional-hazards regression to estimate relative risk (RR) of all-cause mortality according to categories of alcohol consumption and to adjust for age, education, marital status, past histories of chronic diseases, body mass index, smoking, walking and dietary variables. Results: Among men, the risk for all-cause mortality was significantly higher in past drinkers than never-drinkers (multivariate RR, 1.86; 95% confidence interval [CI], 1.50-2.29). There was a dose-response association between alcohol consumption and the risk of all-cause mortality among current drinking men: multivariate RRs in reference to never-drinkers (95% CI) were 1.10 (0.90-1.33), 1.17 (0.96-1.42), 1.16 (0.96-1.40), and 1.62 (1.32-1.99) in current drinkers who consumed less than 22.8 g, 22.8-45.5 g, 45.6-68.3 g, and 68.4 g or more alcohol per day, respectively (P for trend<0.001). Similar association was observed among women (P for trend=0.005). Conclusions: The results indicated that alcohol consumption tended to be associated with linear increase in risk of all-cause mortality among Japanese men and women, and the association was remarkable for younger men.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)S18-S25
JournalJournal of Epidemiology
Issue numberSUPPL. 1
Publication statusPublished - 2004


  • Alcohol consumption
  • All-cause mortality
  • Prospective cohort study


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