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Pattern of drinking affects the relation of alcohol intake to coronary heart disease
Date:12/2/2010

vents in Belfast compared with in France was 1.76 (95% CI 1.37 to 2.67) before adjustment, and 1.09 (95% CI 0.79 to 1.50) after adjustment for alcohol patterns and wine drinking, indicating that most of the differences between the rates in the two countries were related to these two factors. Irrespective of country, only wine drinking was associated with a lower risk of hard coronary events.

The authors conclude that regular and moderate alcohol intake throughout the week, the typical pattern in middle-aged men in France, is associated with a low risk of ischemic heart disease, whereas the binge drinking pattern more prevalent in Belfast confers a higher risk.

Comments: While a strong inverse association between moderate alcohol consumption and cardiovascular disease has been demonstrated for decades, more recent research has emphasized the importance of the pattern of drinking (regular moderate versus episodic or binge drinking). Further, there continues to be debate about the potential greater effect of wine versus other beverages containing alcohol. This study shows that regular moderate drinking (especially of wine) is associated with lower risk of MI, but episodic or binge drinking increases the risk. Lifetime abstinence has a similar adverse relation to CHD as does episodic or binge drinking.


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Contact: R. Curtis Ellison
Ellison@bu.edu
508-333-1256
Boston University Medical Center
Source:Eurekalert

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