Moderate consumption of white and fortified wine is associated with reduced odds of diabetic retinopathy

Eva K. Fenwick, Jing Xie, Ryan Eyn Kidd Man, Lyndell L. Lim, Victoria M. Flood, Robert P. Finger, Tien Y. Wong, Ecosse L. Lamoureux

Research output: Contribution to journalArticleResearchpeer-review

17 Citations (Scopus)


Aim To explore the association between alcohol consumption and the severity of diabetic retinopathy (DR). Methods In this cross-sectional study, patients with type 2 diabetes answered questions on consumption of low and full-strength beer, white wine/champagne, red wine, fortified wines, and spirits. Never, moderate and high consumption of each alcoholic beverage, and overall alcoholic beverage consumption, were defined as < 1, 1-14 and > 14 standard drinks/week, respectively. DR was categorized into none; non vision-threatening DR (VTDR) and VTDR. Multivariable logistic regression determined the associations between alcohol consumption and DR. Results Of the 395 participants (mean age ± SD [standard deviation] 65.9 ± 10.4 years; males = 253), 188 (47.6%) consumed alcohol and 235 (59.5%) had any DR. Compared to no alcohol consumption, moderate alcohol consumption (overall) was significantly associated with reduced odds of any DR (OR = 0.47, 95% CI [confidence interval] 0.26-0.85). Moderate consumption of white wine/champagne or fortified wine was also associated with reduced odds of any DR (OR = 0.48, 95% CI 0.25-0.91, and OR = 0.15, 95% CI 0.04-0.62, respectively). Similar results were observed for non-VTDR and VTDR. Conclusions The amount and type of alcohol are associated with risk of DR in patients with type 2 diabetes. A longitudinal study is needed to assess the protective effect of alcohol consumption and DR.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)1009-1014
Number of pages6
JournalJournal of Diabetes and its Complications
Issue number8
Publication statusPublished - Nov 2015
Externally publishedYes


  • Alcohol consumption
  • Association
  • Diabetic retinopathy
  • Fortified wine
  • White wine

Cite this