Drinking habits and health in Northern Italian and American men

E. Della Valle, S. Stranges, M. Trevisan, V. Krogh, E. Fusconi, J. M. Dorn, E. Farinaro

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review


Background and aim: The aim of this study was to investigate alcohol drinking habits in two male cohorts, one Italian and one American, and to investigate whether cardiovascular disease risk factors are related to different drinking patterns. Furthermore, socio-demographic characteristics were taken into account. Methods: The Italian sample was drawn from the National Alpines Association. A dietary questionnaire was sent to the members of this association as an additional supplement to their monthly magazine. Eleven thousand one hundred and thirty-four men, 18-94 years, from Northern Italy were included in this analysis. The American sample is part of the Western New York Health Study (WNYHS) including 1927 male participants. Results: In both populations, those who drank more than 4 drinks/day were the least educated and showed the highest percentage of current smokers; the highest prevalence of hypertension occurred in heavier drinkers and those who mostly drank without food. By contrast, lifetime abstainers exhibited the lowest percentage of hypertension and the highest level of serum cholesterol; in both populations the highest prevalence of diabetes was present in lighter drinkers. Conclusions: The current study shows that drinking habits are quite different in the two countries and are basically linked with socio-demographic and behavioral variables and support the notion that excess volume of alcohol consumed, and drinking without food, are associated with a higher risk of hypertension and hyperlipidaemia, particularly for Italians.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)115-122
Number of pages8
JournalNutrition, Metabolism and Cardiovascular Diseases
Issue number2
Publication statusPublished - Feb 2009


  • Alcohol
  • Diabetes
  • Diet
  • Drinking pattern
  • Hypertension

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Medicine (miscellaneous)
  • Nutrition and Dietetics
  • Endocrinology, Diabetes and Metabolism
  • Cardiology and Cardiovascular Medicine


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