Serum Glucose Levels and Alcohol-consumption Habits in a Large Population

  1. Robert Feldman, MD
  1. Department of Medical Methods Research and the Department of Internal Medicine, Kaiser-Permanente Medical Care Program 280 West MacArthur Boulevard, Oakland, California 94611


Using information from approximately 100,000 multiphasic check-ups performed in these facilities, we have found an association between alcohol-drinking habits and serum glucose values one hour after an oral challenge with 75 gm. of glucose. There was a positive dose-response relation between reported alcohol intake and serum glucose level over the most common range of alcohol intake. Serum glucose levels were highest in the group who consumed six to eight alcoholic drinks per day. However, among those who said they took nine or more drinks per day, mean serum glucose levels were significantly lower than in the six-to-eight-drink group. These relations persisted when the analysis was controlled for the effects of age, sex, race, adiposity, time since last food intake, time of day, previously known diabetes, and previously known liver disease. A search of the literature failed to uncover a complete explanation for these phenomena.

  • Accepted March 7, 1977.
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