For general physical health, is heavy alcohol use related to stroke diagnosis in middle aged women?




Timciuc, Laura
Lee, Andrew
McGrade, Samantha
Hartos, Jessica


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Introduction: Stroke and alcohol have been linked in previous research, none have focused on middle aged women. The purpose of this study was to assess whether heavy alcohol use is related to stroke diagnosis in middle aged women. Methods: This cross-sectional analysis used 2015 BRFSS data for middle aged women, ages 45-64, from Missouri, Louisiana, and Michigan. Multiple logistic regression analysis assessed the relationship between heavy alcohol use and stroke diagnosis while controlling for education level, ethnicity/race, tobacco use, weight status, high blood pressure, and diabetes. Results: A small percentage of the participants reported ever being diagnosed with stroke (4-6%) and about one-fourth reported heavy alcohol use (21-32%). Results of adjusted analysis indicated that heavy alcohol use was inversely related to stroke in Louisiana (AOR=0.18, 95% CI= 0.04, 0.78) and Michigan (AOR=0.38, 95% CI=0.18, 0.79) but not in Missouri. Furthermore, stroke was significantly related to education level in Missouri and Michigan, and high blood pressure in Louisiana and Michigan. Conclusion: Overall, heavy alcohol use was found to be significantly and inversely related to stroke diagnosis in middle aged women in two out of three states. Since this data was from a population based study, the results may generalize to patients in the primary care setting. As a result of the inverse relationship, practitioners should only assess middle aged women for stroke if symptoms are present because of the low prevalence in this population. Additionally, because one in four participants reported heavy alcohol use, standard screening and patient education about the health risks associated with excessive drinking should continue to occur.