The Relationship between Alcohol Intake and Falls Hospitalization: Results from the EPIC-Norfolk

Guo Jeng Tan, Tan Maw Pin, Robert N Luben, Nicholas J. Wareham, Kay-Tee Khaw, Phyo Myint* (Corresponding Author)

*Corresponding author for this work

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

7 Citations (Scopus)
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To evaluate the relationship between habitual alcohol consumption and the risk of falls hospitalization.
The EPIC-Norfolk is a prospective population-based cohort study in Norfolk, UK. In total, 25 637 community dwelling adults aged 40–79 years were recruited. Units of alcohol consumed per week were measured using a validated Food Frequency Questionnaire. The main outcome was the first hospital admission following a fall.
Over a median follow-up period of 11.5 years (299 211 total person years), the cumulative incidence function (95% confidence interval) of hospitalized falls at 121–180 months for non-users, light (>0 to ≤7 units/week), moderate (>7 to ≤28 units/week) and heavy (>28 units/week) were 11.08 (9.94–12.35), 7.53 (7.02–8.08), 5.91 (5.29–6.59) and 8.20 (6.35–10.56), respectively. Moderate alcohol consumption was independently associated with a reduced risk of falls hospitalization after adjustment for most major confounders (hazard ratio = 0.88; 95% confidence interval 0.79–0.99). The relationship between light alcohol consumption and falls hospitalization was attenuated by gender differences. Alcohol intake higher than the recommended threshold of 28 units/week was associated with an increased risk of falls hospitalization (hazard ratio 1.40 [1.14– .73]).
Moderate alcohol consumption appears to be associated with a reduced risk of falls hospitalization, and intake above the recommended limit is associated with an increased risk. This provides incentive to limit alcohol consumption within the recommended range and has important implications for public health policies for aging populations.
Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)657-663
Number of pages7
JournalGeriatrics and Gerontology International
Issue number8
Early online date22 Jun 2021
Publication statusPublished - Aug 2021

Bibliographical note

The EPIC-Norfolk study (DOI 10.22025/2019.10.105.00004) hasreceived funding from the Medical Research Council (MR/N003284/1 and MC-UU_12015/1) and Cancer Research UK(C864/A14136). We are grateful to all the participants who have been part of the project and to the many members of the study teams at the University of Cambridge who have enabled this research


  • alcohol
  • elderly
  • falls
  • geriatric
  • hospitalization


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