OBJECTIVES: To investigate the interplay between use of alcohol, concentration of low density lipoprotein cholesterol, and risk of ischaemic heart disease. DESIGN: Prospective study with controlling for several relevant confounders, including concentrations of other lipid fractions. SETTING: Copenhagen male study, Denmark. SUBJECTS: 2826 men aged 53-74 years without overt ischaemic heart disease. MAIN OUTCOME MEASURE: Incidence of ischaemic heart disease during a six year follow up period. RESULTS: 172 men (6.1%) had a first ischaemic heart disease event. There was an overall inverse association between alcohol intake and risk of ischaemic heart disease. The association was highly dependent on concentration of low density lipoprotein cholesterol. In men with a high concentration (> or = 5.25 mmol/l) cumulative incidence rates of ischaemic heart disease were 16.4% for abstainers, 8.7% for those who drank 1-21 beverages a week, and 4.4% for those who drank 22 or more beverages a week. With abstainers as reference and after adjustment for confounders, corresponding relative risks (95% confidence interval) were 0.4 (0.2 to 1.0; P or = 3.63 mmol/l who abstained from drinking alcohol was 43% (10% to 64%). CONCLUSIONS: In middle aged and elderly men the inverse association between alcohol consumption and risk of ischaemic heart disease is highly dependent on the concentration of low density lipoprotein cholesterol. These results support the suggestion that use of alcohol may in part explain the French paradox.
Comment In: ACP J Club. 1996 Sep-Oct;125(2):51
Comment In: BMJ. 1996 Aug 10;313(7053):365-68760765
A high intake of saturated fat is associated with an increase in serum low density lipoprotein cholesterol (LDL) and an increase in risk of ischaemic heart disease (IHD). In some parts of France a high intake of fat is not associated with increased risk of IHD, an apparent discrepancy named the French paradox. It has been suggested, but never tested prospectively, that regular use of alcohol might explain this low risk. We investigated the interplay between use of alcohol, LDL and risk of IHD in a prospective study controlling for a number of relevant confounders including other lipid fraction, including 2,826 males aged 53-74 years without overt IHD. The incidence of IHD during a six year follow-up period was registered. One hundred and seventy-two men (6.1%) had a first IHD event. There was an overall inverse association between alcohol intake and risk of IHD. The association was highly dependent on LDL. In men with a high LDL (> or = 5.25 mmol/l), cumulative incidence rates of IHD were 16.4% for abstainers, 8.7% for those who drank 1-21 beverages/week and 4.4% for those who drank 22+. Using abstainers as reference, adjusted for confounders, corresponding relative risks (95% CI) were 0.4 (0.2-1.0), p or = 3.63 mmol/l who abstained from drinking alcohol was calculated; AR with 95% confidence limits was 43% (10-64%). To conclude, in middleaged and elderly men the inverse association between alcohol consumption and risk of IHD was highly dependent on the level of LDL. These results support the suggestion that alcohol intake may at least in part explain the French paradox.
In the Copenhagen Male Study we found an increased risk of ischaemic heart disease (IHD) in men with the Lewis phenotype Le(a-b-). This study investigated whether, within the group of Le(a-b-) men, any conventional risk factors modified their increased risk. Three thousand, three hundred and eighty-three men aged 53 to 75 years were examined in 1985/86 and their morbidity and mortality over the next four years recorded. Three hundred and forty-three men with cardiovascular diseases were excluded at baseline. Potential risk factors examined were: alcohol consumption, physical activity, tobacco smoking, serum cotinine, serum lipids, body mass index, blood pressure, hypertension, non-insulin dependent diabetes mellitus and social class. In eligible men with Le(a-b-), N = 280 (9.6%), alcohol was the only risk factor associated with risk of IHD. There was a significant inverse dose-effect relationship between alcohol consumption and risk. The age-adjusted p-values of trend tests were for risk of non-fatal + fatal IHD: p = 0.03; for risk of fatal IHD: p = 0.02. In eligible men with other phenotypes, N = 2,649 (90.4%) only a limited and non-significant negative association with alcohol. In Le(a-b-) men, a group genetically at increased risk of IHD, the risk was strongly and significantly negatively correlated with alcohol consumption.
Not much attention has been given to drug use and risk of colorectal cancer. We investigated the issue in an 18-year prospective cohort study of 5249 Copenhagen males aged 40-59 years. Potential confounders included were tobacco smoking, alcohol consumption, coffee drinking, physical activity, and social class. Colon cancer was diagnosed in 51 men, rectal cancer in 42 (all adenocarcinomas). Estimated from a Cox proportional hazards regression equation, use of antihypertensive medicine was highly significantly associated with risk of colon cancer, relative risk (95% confidence limits) was 3.5 (1.6-7.5), p = 0.001. Frequent use of minor tranquillizers or sleeping pills was also associated with a highly significantly increased risk of colon cancer, relative risk was 3.2 (1.6-6.6), p = 0.002. By contrast, there was no such association with rectum cancer. We suggest that use of antihypertensive medicine and use of minor tranquillizers or sleeping pills may be strong risk factors for colon cancer, and that their use may contribute substantially to explaining the increased incidence of colon cancer since 1945.
The aim of this study was to examine whether physical and chemical working conditions explain the association of social class with ischaemic heart disease (IHD). We investigated the issue in a cohort of 2974 males aged 53-75 years (mean 63) free from overt cardiovascular disease. Potential confounders included were: alcohol consumption, physical activity, tobacco smoking, serum cotinine, serum lipids, serum selenium, body mass index, blood pressure, hypertension, social class, and retirement status. During the follow-up period (1985-1986 to 31 December 1991), 184 men (6.2%) had a first IHD event; 44 events were fatal. Compared to higher social classes (classes I, II and III), lower classes (classes IV and V) had a significantly increased risk of IHD (P or = 5 years) to either soldering fumes or organic solvents had a significantly higher risk of IHD than unexposed: RRs were 2.1 and 1.7, respectively. After adjustment for all the above potential confounders and including also these two occupational factors, the RR of low social classes was reduced to a non-significant 1.24 (0.87-1.76), P = 0.24, i.e. by 45%. Adjusting for non-occupational factors only reduced the RR from 1.44 to 1.38 (1.0-1.90), P = 0.05, i.e. by about 14%. Assuming that the association of soldering fumes and organic solvents with risk of IHD was causal, it was estimated that 16% of IHD cases in low social class could be ascribed to these exposures.(ABSTRACT TRUNCATED AT 250 WORDS)
Exposure to cold and draught, alcohol consumption, and the NS-phenotype are associated with chronic bronchitis: an epidemiological investigation of 3387 men aged 53-75 years: the Copenhagen Male Study.
H:S Bispebjerg Hospital, University of Copenhagen, Epidemiological Research Unit, Clinic of Occupational and Environmental Medicine, Bispebjerg Bakke 23, 2400 Copenhagen NV, Denmark. firstname.lastname@example.org
OBJECTIVES: This study was performed to estimate the strength of association between chronic bronchitis and lifetime exposure to occupational factors, current lifestyle, and the NS-phenotype in the MNS blood group among middle aged and elderly men. METHODS: The study was carried out within the frameworks of the Copenhagen Male Study. Of 3387 men 3331 men with a mean age of 63 (range 53-75) years could be classified by prevalence of chronic bronchitis. As well as the completion of a large questionnaire on health, lifestyle, and working conditions, all participants had a thorough examination, including measurements of height and weight and blood pressure and a venous blood sample was taken for the measurement of serum cotinine and MNS typing; 16.5% of the men had the NS-phenotype. Chronic bronchitis was defined as cough and phlegm lasting 3 months or more for at least 2 years; 14.6% had chronic bronchitis. RESULTS: Smoking and smoke inhalation were the factors most strongly associated with prevalence of chronic bronchitis. There were three major new findings: (a) long term (>5 years) occupational exposure to cold and draught was associated with a significantly increased prevalence of chronic bronchitis; compared with others, and adjusted for confounders, the odds ratio (OR) with 95% confidence interval (95% CI) was 1.4 (1.1 to 1.7), p=0.004; (b) a significant J shaped association existed between alcohol use and bronchitis, p
BACKGROUND: In the Copenhagen Male Study men with the Lewis blood group phenotype Le(a+b-), non-secretors of ABH antigen, and men with the O or the A phenotype in the ABO blood group have been found to have a significantly higher lifetime prevalence of peptic ulcer than others. We investigated the importance of the association of these genetic markers, life-style factors, and social class with lifetime risk of peptic ulcer, testing specifically the hypothesis that the strength of the association of risk factors with peptic ulcer depends on genetic susceptibility. METHODS: Three thousand three hundred and forty-six white men 55-74 years old were included for study. From a questionnaire validated during an interview information was obtained about life-style factors and peptic ulcer history (gastric or duodenal). Potential non-genetic risk factors examined were smoking history, alcohol consumption, physical activity level, consumption of tea and coffee, and use of sugar in tea or coffee. RESULTS: Three hundred and eighty-four men (11.5%) had a history of peptic ulcer; 120 (3.6%) had had an operation due to peptic ulcer. Non-genetic peptic ulcer risk factors identified were ever having been a smoker, use of sugar in tea or coffee, abstention from tea consumption, and low social class. On the basis of these and the genetic factors, it was possible to identify a low-risk group (n = 142) with a lifetime prevalence of 4.2%, several intermediate-risk groups, and a high-risk group (n = 55) with a prevalence of 29%; the odds ratio with 95% confidence limits (OR) was 9.3 (3.4-25.3). Corresponding values with regard to operation were 1.4% and 20.0%; OR = 17.5 (3.7-82.0). Several significant interactions were found; for example, the use of sugar was associated with peptic ulcer risk only when interacting with genetic risk groups. CONCLUSIONS: Considering the role of Helicobacter pylori, it is interesting that the factors identified in this study were able to identify groups with extremely different lifetime risks. This finding and also the finding of strong interactions between genetic and life-style factors and between genetic factors and social class for the risk of peptic ulcer may have both public-health and clinical implications.
Knowledge on the genetic risk of peptic ulcer has predominantly been based on hospital materials. To minimize selection bias, we tested the association between some genetic markers and the risk of peptic ulcer in a large-scale epidemiologic design.
Some 3,387 white men aged 54-74 years were investigated and reported their history of peptic ulcer. Information about hospitalization and operation was collected from registers.
The lifetime prevalence of peptic ulcer in men with Lewis phenotype Le(a + b-) and non-secretors of ABH antigen was 15%, significantly higher than others, 11%, p; the risk in phenotypes O and A were equally high, 12%, and among other ABO phenotypes, 7%, p
The Copenhagen Male Study is a prospective, cardiovascular cohort study initiated in 1970 and consisting of 5249 employed men aged 40-59 years. A total of 4710 men, who had reported their smoking habits and were free of ischaemic heart disease, had their mortality recorded over a 17-year period: 585 men suffered a first incident of ischaemic heart disease (IHD), and 248 cases were fatal. There was a strong social gradient in the risk of IHD (Kendall's Tau B = 0.12, P less than 0.001). Adjusting for age, blood pressure, physical activity, body mass index and alcohol consumption in a multiple logistic regression equation, men in the lowest social class had a relative risk (95% confidence interval) of IHD of 3.6 (2.5-5.3) compared to men in the highest social class. We determined whether differences in smoking habits could explain at least some of this large increase in risk. Adjustment for the above factors and also inclusion of the form of tobacco smoked, the amount of tobacco smoked and presence or absence of inhalation, had very little effect on the estimate: the relative risk was 3.5 (2.4-5.2). There was no social gradient in age at the start of smoking. According to smoking habits, comparing social class V with social class I, the relative risk was 7.7 (2.6-22.4) in cigarette smokers, 6.0 (1.1-32.1) in pipe smokers, 3.5 (1.7-7.1) in mixed smokers, 2.25 (0.4-12.9) in cheroot smokers, 3.8 (2.4-5.9) in all smokers, 1.95 (0.8-4.6) in ex-smokers, and 4.7 (1.01-22.2) in non-smokers. In the upper social classes, 50-75% of IHD events could be ascribed to smoking, and in the lowest classes only about 20%. We conclude that the substantial social inequalities in risk of ischaemic heart disease are not accounted for by differences in smoking habits.
Not much attention has been given to drug use and risk of colorectal cancer. We investigated the issue in an 18-year prospective cohort study of 5249 Copenhagen men aged 40-59 years. Potential confounders included were tobacco smoking, alcohol consumption, coffee drinking, physical activity, and social class. Colon cancer was diagnosed in 51 men, rectal cancer in 42 (all adenocarcinomas). Estimated from a Cox proportional hazards regression equation, use of antihypertensive medicine was highly significantly associated with risk of colon cancer; relative risk (95% confidence limits) was 3.5 (1.6-7.5) (p = 0.001). Frequent use of minor tranquilizers or sleeping pills was also associated with a highly significantly increased risk of colon cancer; relative risk was 3.2 (1.6-6.6) (p = 0.002). In contrast, there was no such association with rectum cancer. We suggest that use of antihypertensive medicine and use of minor tranquilizers or sleeping pills may be strong risk factors for colon cancer.