BioScience Trends. 2017;11(5):600-602. (DOI: 10.5582/bst.2017.01237)

Non-linear association between alcohol and incident frailty among community-dwelling older people: A dose-response meta-analysis.

Kojima G, Iliffe S, Liljas A, Walters K


A recent systematic review and meta-analysis study suggested that higher alcohol consumption is associated with lower risks for frailty. However the apparent protective effect may not be true because of some limitations. Therefore we further explored potential linear and non-linear associations using a two-stage dose-response meta-analysis. Restricted cubic splines were applied with three fixed knots at percentiles (10%, 50%, and 90%). A two-stage dose-response meta-analysis showed a significant non-linear association (p for non-linearity < 0.001); incident frailty risk decreased until around 15 g/day of alcohol consumption and increased thereafter. This suggests that while moderate alcohol consumption is associated with a lower risk of frailty, at higher consumption levels this apparent protect effect is lost. Given these findings, non-linear associations should be considered in future research on alcohol and frailty.

KEYWORDS: Frailty, alcohol, dose-response meta-analysis, older people

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