Physical activity and risk of alcohol use disorders: results from a prospective cohort study

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Aims: To examine the effect of physical activity on risk of developing alcohol use disorders in a large prospective cohortstudy with focus on leisure-time physical activity.

Methods: Data came from the four examinations of the Copenhagen City HeartStudy (CCHS), performed in 1976–1978, 1981–1983, 1991–1994 and 2001–2003. Information on physical activity (classified asModerate/high, low or sedentary) and covariates was obtained through self-administered questionnaires, and information on alcohol usedisorders was obtained from the Danish Hospital Discharge Register, the Danish Psychiatric Central Research Register and the Winalcodatabase. In total, 18,359 people participated in the study, a mean follow-up time of 20.9 years. Cox proportional hazards model withdelayed entry was used. Models were adjusted for available covariates (age, smoking habits, alcohol intake, education, income and cohabitationstatus) including updated time-dependent variables whenever possible.

Results: A low or moderate/high leisure-time physicalactivity was associated with almost half the risk of developing alcohol use disorder compared with a sedentary leisure-time physicalactivity. This translates into a 1.5- to 2-fold increased risk of developing alcohol use disorder (Hazard ratios for men 1.64; 95% CI 1.29–2.10 and women 1.45; 1.01–2.09) in individuals with a sedentary leisure-time physical activity, compared with a moderate to high level.However, when stratifying by presence of other psychiatric disorders, no association was observed in women with psychiatric comorbidity.Residual confounding may have been present in this study, especially according to rough measures of income and education.

Conclusions: In both men and women, being sedentary in leisure time was a risk factor for developing an alcohol use disorder.

Original languageEnglish
JournalAlcohol and Alcoholism
Issue number2
Pages (from-to)206-212
Number of pages7
Publication statusPublished - 2015

ID: 156039095