Moderate consumption of alcohol has been found to protect middle aged women against development of type 2 diabetes, also referred to as non-insulin-dependent diabetes (NIDDM). Although previous studies have highlighted the association between alcohol and diabetes in men, the study is the first of its kind to have extrapolated it to women.
The present study examined the relationship between alcohol consumption and age of onset of diabetes, specifically in women. More than 16, 300 women over 45 years of age have been included in the study. Increasing age is believed to be a positive risk factor for development of diabetes.
The study participants were diabetic free at the time of enrollment. A close follow up of the enrolled participants was carried out for an average of 6.2 years. An approximate of 760 women were diagnosed with diabetes during the study period.
Women who had a moderate level of alcohol consumption (5 to 30 g/week; 1 standard drink - 10 g of alcohol) were less likely to develop diabetes. On the contrary, the risk was comparatively greater in abstainers (no alcohol consumption) and excessive drinkers.
No association was however found between the type of drink and diabetic susceptibility. The results of the present study have valuable clinical implications, as a majority of individuals who suffer from type 2 diabetes are women.