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Alcohol intake, wine consumption and the development of depression: the PREDIMED study

Alfredo Gea1, Juan J Beunza2, Ramón Estruch34, Almudena Sánchez-Villegas35, Jordi Salas-Salvadó36, Pilar Buil-Cosiales7, Enrique Gómez-Gracia38, María-Isabel Covas39, Dolores Corella103, Miquel Fiol113, Fernando Arós123, José Lapetra133, Rosa-María Lamuela-Raventós143, Julia Wärnberg38, Xavier Pintó153, Lluis Serra-Majem35, Miguel A Martínez-González13* and for the PREDIMED GROUP

Author Affiliations

1 Department of Preventive Medicine and Public Health, Medical School-Clinica Universidad de Navarra, Pamplona, Spain

2 School of Medicine, Universidad Europea de Madrid, Madrid, Spain

3 CIBER Fisiopatología de la Obesidad y Nutrición (CIBERObn), Instituto de Salud Carlos III, Madrid, Spain

4 Department of Internal Medicine, Hospital Clinic, University of Barcelona, Barcelona, Spain

5 Department of Clinical Sciences, University of Las Palmas de Gran Canaria, Las Palmas de Gran Canaria, Spain

6 Human Nutrition Unit, IISPV, Universitat Rovira i Virgili, Reus, Spain

7 Spain Primary Care, Servicio Navarro de Salud, Osasunbidea, Pamplona, Spain

8 Department of Preventive Medicine and Public Health, Faculty of Medicine, University of Málaga, Málaga, Spain

9 Lipids and Cardiovascular Epidemiology Research Unit, Institut Municipal d’Investigació Mèdica (IMIM), Barcelona, Spain

10 Department of Preventive Medicine, University of Valencia, Valencia, Spain

11 Institute of Health Sciences (IUNICS), University of Balearic Islands, Palma de Mallorca, Spain

12 Department of Cardiology, Araba University Hospital, Vitoria, Spain

13 Department of Family Medicine, Primary Care Division of Sevilla, Centro de Salud San Pablo, Sevilla, Spain

14 Nutrition and Food Science Department– XaRTA, INSA, University of Barcelona, Barcelona, Spain

15 Internal Medicine Service, Hospital of Bellvitge, Hospitalet de Llobregat, Spain

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BMC Medicine 2013, 11:192  doi:10.1186/1741-7015-11-192

Published: 30 August 2013



Alcoholic beverages are widely consumed. Depression, the most prevalent mental disorder worldwide, has been related to alcohol intake. We aimed to prospectively assess the association between alcohol intake and incident depression using repeated measurements of alcohol intake.


We followed-up 5,505 high-risk men and women (55 to 80 y) of the PREDIMED Trial for up to seven years. Participants were initially free of depression or a history of depression, and did not have any history of alcohol-related problems. A 137-item validated food frequency questionnaire administered by a dietician was repeated annually to assess alcohol intake. Participants were classified as incident cases of depression when they reported a new clinical diagnosis of depression, and/or initiated the use of antidepressant drugs. Cox regression analyses were fitted over 23,655 person-years.


Moderate alcohol intake within the range of 5 to 15 g/day was significantly associated with lower risk of incident depression (hazard ratio (HR) and 95% confidence interval (95% CI) = 0.72 (0.53 to 0.98) versus abstainers). Specifically, wine consumption in the range of two to seven drinks/week was significantly associated with lower rates of depression (HR (95% CI) = 0.68 (0.47 to 0.98)).


Moderate consumption of wine may reduce the incidence of depression, while heavy drinkers seem to be at higher risk.

Wine; Alcohol; Depression; Cohort