Excessive alcohol consumption is a well-recognized factor contributing to premature morbidity and mortality.
Professor Gunter Hempelmann and colleagues from Germany designed a retrospective, matched cohort study in order to assess the attributable effects of excessive alcohol consumption on outcome in patients undergoing noncardiac surgery.
The research group recorded all data from 28,065 patients operated at a tertiary care university hospital using a computerized anesthesia record-keeping system.
The researchers defined cases as patients with history of excessive alcohol consumption (>30 g alcohol per day).
The research group also selected controls according to matching variables in a stepwise fashion.
The researchers found that 928 patients (3.3%) had a history of excessive alcohol consumption.
|Crude mortality rates for the cases were 1.3% and 1.6% for the matched controls|
The research team were able to successfully match 897 patients (97%).
The crude mortality rates for the cases were 1.3% and 1.6% for the matched controls.
The researchers noted that prolonged length of hospital stay was 38% versus 33%, admission to the intensive care unit was deemed necessary in 11% versus 9%, and intraoperative cardiovascular events were detected from the database in 22% versus 22%.
Professor Hempelmann concluded, "In this study, history of excessive alcohol consumption alone is not a factor leading to an increased perioperative risk in noncardiac surgery."