Moderate alcohol drinking lowers diabetes risk in women with GDM by 41 percent: JAMA
USA: Moderate alcohol consumption (about 0.5-1 drink per day) in women with a history of gestational diabetes mellitus (GDM) is associated with a lower risk of type 2 diabetes (T2D), a recent study has found. The study appears in JAMA Network Open.
The researchers however add that the findings should be interpreted in the context of other known benefits and risks of alcohol consumption while considering recommendations of individual women with a history of gestational diabetes.
According to the study, alcohol consumption of 5.0 to 14.9 g/d compared with no consumption is associated with a 41% lower risk for T2D among those with a history of GDM. However, the authors caution that the results should not be interpreted in isolation from other health outcomes.
Prior to the study, it was known that women with a history of GDM are at higher risk for type 2 diabetes. Several studies have shown light to moderate alcohol consumption to be associated with a lower risk of T2D. However, it is not known if alcohol consumption can reduce the risk of T2D in women with gestational diabetes. To shed light on the topic, Stefanie N. Hinkle, National Institutes of Health, Bethesda, Maryland, and colleagues aimed to evaluate the association between alcohol consumption and risk for type 2 diabetes among women with a history of gestational diabetes in a cohort study.
The study included women from the Nurses' Health Study II cohort who reported a history of gestational diabetes. They were followed up from January 1, 1991, to December 31, 2017, as part of the Diabetes & Women's Health Study.
Using validated food-frequency questionnaires, the researchers assessed dietary intakes, including alcohol for every 4 years.
A total of 4740 women were included in the study; the mean age at baseline was 38.2 years, and the median follow-up time was 24 years, resulting in 78 328 person-years of follow-up. During this period, 897 incident cases of type 2 diabetes were reported.
The research yielded the following findings:
- After adjustment for major dietary and lifestyle factors, compared with women who did not consume any alcohol, only alcohol consumption of 5.0 to 14.9 g/d was associated with decreased risk for incident type 2 diabetes (HR, 0.45); there was no association of alcohol consumption of 0.1 to 4.9 g/d or 15.0 g/d or more (maximum, 74.2 g/d) with risk of type 2 diabetes (0.1 to 4.9 g/d: HR, 0.87; ≥15.0 g/d: HR, 0.62).
- After additional adjustment for body mass index, women who reported alcohol consumption of 5.0 to 14.9 g/d had a 41% lower risk for developing incident type 2 diabetes (HR, 0.59); consumption of 0.1 to 4.9 g/d and consumption of 15.0 g/d or more were still not associated with risk of type 2 diabetes, but the results were attenuated (0.1-4.9 g/d: HR, 1.02; ≥15.0 g/d: HR, 0.75).
"In this cohort study, among women with a history of gestational diabetes, usual alcohol intake of 5.0 to 14.9 g/d (approximately 0.5-1 drinks per day) was associated with a lower risk for type 2 diabetes," wrote the authors. "These findings should be interpreted in the context of other known risks and benefits of alcohol consumption when considering clinical recommendations for individual women with a history of gestational diabetes."
Hinkle SN, Bao W, Wu J, et al. Association of Habitual Alcohol Consumption With Long-term Risk of Type 2 Diabetes Among Women With a History of Gestational Diabetes. JAMA Netw Open. 2021;4(9):e2124669. doi:10.1001/jamanetworkopen.2021.24669