(This version of the story corrects source’s title and affiliation in second-to-last paragraph)
By Lisa Rapaport
(Reuters Health) – People who enjoy one beer or glass of wine several days a week may be less likely to develop diabetes than drinkers who tend to have all their cocktails on a Saturday night, a Danish study suggests.
When researchers looked at people who drank they same total amount of alcohol, they found that men who spread those drinks over three to four days of the week were 27 percent less likely to develop diabetes than guys who downed all their shots and beers in one sitting.
Women, meanwhile, had 32 percent lower odds of diabetes when they spread their cocktails over several days instead of a single happy hour.
But this is hardly a prescription to drink every day, said senior study author Janne Tolstrup of the University of Southern Denmark.
“I wouldn’t advise a non-drinker to start drinking for their health,” Tolstrup said by email.
“Generally, people should stick to the guidelines already there,” which in most countries are a maximum of 7 drinks per week for women and 14 for men, Tolstrup added.
Other studies looking at total alcohol consumption have linked light to moderate drinking with a lower risk of diabetes than abstinence, researchers note in Diabetologia. The odds of diabetes for binge drinkers, meanwhile, had been similar to or greater than for teetotalers, previous research has found.
For the current study, researchers wanted to see how much the total amount of alcohol consumed over a week might help explain the differing pictures of diabetes risk found in earlier research.
They examined survey data from 70,551 men and women who didn’t have diabetes at the start of the study. Half the participants stayed in the study for five years or more.
During the study, 859 men and 887 women developed diabetes.
Like other studies of diabetes and drinking, the current analysis found the lowest risk for people who consumed moderate amounts of alcohol.
Compared to non-drinkers, men who had 14 drinks a week were 43 percent less likely to develop diabetes and women who had nine weekly drinks were 58 percent less likely to develop diabetes.
The study didn’t include many people who reported binge drinking, and it didn’t find clear evidence to show whether excessive alcohol consumption might be good or bad from the standpoint of diabetes risk.
What people drank did appear to matter, however.
Participants who had…