Kidney Int. 2008;73:870-876


Researchers who studied a large cohort of Chinese men found an inverse relationship between alcohol consumption and end-stage renal disease (ESRD).

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Investigators in China and the United States looked at the relationship in 65,601 Chinese men aged 40 years and older. The researchers observed information on the amount and type of alcohol consumed at baseline and with follow-up evaluations eight to nine years later.


During 500,876 person-years of follow-up, 176 participants initiated renal replacement therapy or died from renal failure. Compared with non-drinkers, men who drank fewer than 21 drinks per week had a 33% lower risk of ESRD, after adjusting for age, BMI, physical activity, cigarette smoking, geographic region, education, and urbanizations. Men who consumed 21 or more drinks per week had a 48% lower risk. The inverse association persisted even after adjusting for systolic BP and history of diabetes and CVD.


The authors observed that heavy alcohol consumptions may lead to increased risk of morbidity and death from other causes, so their findings should be interpreted cautiously.