Alcohol and hospitalization are presumably linked. It’s reasonable to assume that heavy drinkers are more likely to need a hospital. But what about light and moderate drinkers. We know that moderate drinking is linked to better health and longer life. That’s compared to either non-drinkers and heavy drinkers.
I. Study of Alcohol and Hospitalization
To learn the answer, this study looked at 10,883 men and 12,857 women aged 40 to 79. They were from the European Prospective Investigation into Cancer in Norfolk. This is a general population cohort of people living in East Alglica. The survey followed them for ten years. The current scholars compared drinking levels with later frequency and length of hospitalization. In doing so, they controlled for age, occupation, education, smoking, body mass index, diabetes, heart attack, stroke and cancer.
The study found that alcohol drinkers were much less likely than non-drinkers to later go to a hospital. This included heavy drinkers. That may be because there were very few heavy drinkers.
Men who drank alcohol used hospitals about as often as teetotaling men. But they stayed for much shorter time. Women who drank were much less likely to use hospitals than abstainers. And they stayed for many fewer days.
Heart diseases and strokes cause about half of all deaths in Western Societies. However, light and moderate drinking reduces the risk of these major diseases by almost half. Also, such drinking is linked with reduced risk of many other diseases. (See Alcohol and Health.) Also, drinking is not a risk factor for the vast majority of cancers. And for those remaining cancers, it is usually only a risk factor for heavy drinking.
It’s important to know if you might need to go to a hospital. In particular, both heart attacks and strokes benefit greatly from prompt medical care.
There are many common signs of heart attack.
If you have any of these get medical help fast. Never take a chance.
The American Stroke Association suggests using “FAST” to remember signs of stroke. It’s easy.
F – Face Drooping. One side of face drooping?
A – Arm Weakness. One arm weak or numb?
S – Speech Difficulty. Suddenly slurred speech?
T – Time to Call 9-1-1. Call 9-1-1 if even a single one of the symptoms happens. And call even if the symptom disappears.
In addition, other symptoms can include loss of vision, unusual walk, weakness on one side of the body, or severe headache.
Stroke and heart disease share many of the same risk factors. They include these.
We can control most of the big risk factors. And that’s for both both stroke and heart disease.
Are you at risk of a heart attack?
Emergency Department. What to Expect.
Emergency Room. What to Expect.
Rinzler, C. and Graf, M. Controlling Cholesterol for Dummies. Hoboken: Wiley, 2018.
Taylor, L, et al. Can I Tell You about Having a Stroke? A Guide for Friends, Family and Professionals. London: Kingsley, 2015.
Luben, R., et al. Alcohol consumption and future hospital usage. The EPIC-Norfolk prospective population study, PLOS, July 18, 2018.
Nothing on this site is medical advice.