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Study suggests lower risk of coronary heart disease from alcohol, even with hazardous drinking
Date:4/27/2011

The analysis assesses the 12-month prevalence of coronary heart disease (CHD) in individuals according to their category of alcohol use. The 2001� National Epidemiologic Survey on Alcohol and Related Conditions study (the NESARC study, n = 43,093) identified 16,147 abstinent individuals, 15,884 moderate consumers, 9,578 hazardous drinkers defined as exceeding sex-specific weekly limits established by the World Health Organization, and 1,484 alcohol-dependent subjects. Diagnoses were generated using the Alcohol Use Disorder and Associated Disabilities Interview Schedule-DSM-IV version. Both moderate and hazardous drinking were associated with decreased odds of CHD when compared with abstinence, whereas odds of CHD were not significantly different between alcohol-dependent and abstinent participants. A moderate or even a hazardous consumption of alcohol was associated with a decreased likelihood of CHD after controlling for socio-demographic, psychiatric, and addictive risk factors. Our study shows that alcohol may have cardio-protective effects not only in moderate drinkers, but also in individuals with patterns of use traditionally considered as hazardous.

International Scientific Forum on Alcohol Research Comments

There were adequate numbers of subjects in most analysis groups, in that 36% of subjects were abstinent in the last year and almost one quarter of subjects were in the group classified as "hazardous drinking." One Forum reviewer commented: "This exhibition of a rightward extension of the revered J-shaped curve for coronary heart disease (CHD) has been reported before. I find the results acceptable. I wonder, however, what happens to the rates of cirrhosis and other directly alcohol-related disorders and what might be the long-term total mortality experience in this group." An interesting finding in this study is that participants with CHD were more likely to have lifetime mood disorder, lifetime anxiety d
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Contact: R. Curtis Ellison
ellison@bu.edu
508-333-1256
Boston University Medical Center
Source:Eurekalert

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