Table 2

HRs (95% CIs) for all-cause mortality, cancer mortality and CVD mortality by alcohol consumption, Health Survey for England (1994; 1998; 1999; 2003; 2004 and 2006) and Scottish Health Survey (1998 and 2003) (n=36 370)

Categories of alcohol consumption* (number of deaths/number of participants)Multivariate HR (95% CI) model 1†p ValueMultivariate HR (95% CI) model 2‡p ValueMultivariate HR (95% CI) model 3§p Value
All-cause mortality
 Never drunk (519/3090)1.00 (reference)<0.0011.00 (reference)<0.0011.00 (reference)<0.001
 Ex-drinkers (557/2217)1.64 (1.45 to 1.84)1.35 (1.19 to 1.52)1.37 (1.21 to 1.55)
 Occasional drinkers (543/9756)0.81 (0.72 to 0.92)0.81 (0.72 to 0.92)0.83 (0.74 to 0.94)
 Within guidelines (3283/16 462)1.10 (1.00 to 1.20)1.08 (0.98 to 1.19)1.13 (1.02 to 1.24)
 Hazardous (644/3905)1.15 (1.02 to 1.30)1.13 (1.00 to 1.27)1.19 (1.06 to 1.35)
 Harmful (189/940)1.79 (1.51 to 2.12)1.59 (1.34 to 1.89)1.64 (1.38 to 1.95)
Cancer mortality
 Never drunk (114/3090)1.00 (reference)<0.0011.00 (reference)<0.0011.00 (reference)<0.001
 Ex-drinkers (140/2217)1.80 (1.40 to 2.30)1.47 (1.15 to 1.89)1.49 (1.16 to 1.91)
 Occasional drinkers (189/9756)1.08 (0.85 to 1.36)1.02 (0.81 to 1.30)1.04 (0.82 to 1.32)
 Within guidelines (975/16 462)1.41 (1.16 to 1.72)1.32 (1.08 to 1.61)1.36 (1.11 to 1.65)
 Hazardous (212/3905)1.50 (1.19 to 1.90)1.36 (1.07 to 1.72)1.40 (1.11 to 1.78)
 Harmful (50/968)2.13 (1.56 to 2.92)1.70 (1.24 to 2.34)1.74 (1.27 to 2.39)
CVD mortality
 Never drunk (182/3090)1.00 (reference)<0.0011.00 (reference)<0.0011.00 (reference)<0.001
 Ex-drinkers (192/2217)1.60 (1.31 to 1.96)1.37 (1.11 to 1.68)1.39 (1.13 to 1.70)
 Occasional drinkers (162/9756)0.74 (0.60 to 0.92)0.77 (0.62 to 0.96)0.78 (0.63 to 0.97)
 Within guidelines (1009/16 462)0.96 (0.81 to 1.12)0.99 (0.84 to 1.16)1.03 (0.87 to 1.21)
 Hazardous (191/3905)0.98 (0.80 to 1.21)1.04 (0.84 to 1.29)1.10 (0.89 to 1.37)
 Harmful (48/940)1.33 (0.96 to 1.84)1.30 (0.94 to 1.81)1.35 (0.97 to 1.87)
  • *In UK units/week (equivalent in US standard drinks). Never drunk and ex-drinkers: stopped drinking; occasional drinkers: drinkers but no drinking in the past 7 days; within guidelines: <14 (8) (women) and <21 (12) (men); hazardous: 14–35 (8–20) (women) and 21–49 (12–28) (men) and harmful: >35 (20) (women) and >49 (28) (men).

  • †Model 1: adjusted for age and gender.

  • ‡Model 2: adjusted as model 1, and body mass index, cigarette smoking status, social class status, psychological distress/depression score (12-point GHQ score) and long-standing illness. All-cause and CVD mortality were also adjusted for doctor-diagnosed CVDs (stroke or IHD, including angina).

  • §Model 3: adjusted as model 2, and physical activity.

  • CVD, cardiovascular disease; GHQ, General Health Questionnaire; IHD, ischaemic heart disease.