Associations of alcohol consumption with chronic diseases, lifestyle behaviors and socioeconomic-demographic characteristics in India
Aims: The objective of the present study was to analyse self-reported and measured chronic diseases and their association with alcohol consumption. Furthermore, the study examined the intensity and patterns of alcohol consumption by lifestyle and socio-demographic characteristics among respondents with chronic diseases.
Methods: Secondary data were analysed from the Study on Global AGEing and Adult Health (SAGE), Wave 1 (2007–08), covering respondents aged 18 and older (10,914) in India. Chronic diseases, namely chronic obstructive pulmonary disease (COPD), hypertension, asthma, depression and angina were self-reported as diagnoses and measured using validated epidemiological tools. A multivariable adjusted logistic regression model was used to analyze the association of quantity of alcohol consumed and patterns of alcohol consumption with chronic diseases. A multinomial multivariable regression model was used to examine the risk ratio between alcohol consumption and each lifestyle characteristic among the diseased population.
Results: About 17.0% (1,432/10,914) of the population consumed alcohol. At 18.0% (1,967/10,914), the prevalence of self-reported chronic diseases was lower than measured chronic diseases (37.5%; 4091/10,914). Moderate drinking was associated with self-reported hypertension (OR = 1.68; 95% CI = 1.10, 2.55) and measured hypertension (OR = 1.67; 95% CI = 1.16, 2.42). Consumption of three or more alcoholic drinks per session was associated with self-reported depression (OR = 2.68; 95% CI = 1.32, 5.45). Alcohol consumption of more than three drinks per session was associated with vigorous physical activity (RRR = 3.57; 95% CI = 1.25, 10.23). Heavy drinking was associated with the risk of having a body mass index in the overweight range (RRR = 2.29; 95% CI = 1.17, 4.47).
Conclusions: The study findings demonstrate that alcohol is a risk factor for hypertension, self-reported depression and being overweight, with these associations varying with the amount of alcohol consumed. A coordinated, targeted multisectoral approach is needed to improve knowledge and awareness of the harmful effects of alcohol consumption and to strengthen alcohol use control policies in India.
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