Navigation Links
Critique 029: What should we advise about alcohol consumption? A debate amongst scientists
Date:1/18/2011

A Letter to the Editor entitled "What should we advise about alcohol consumption?" was recently published by Maurizio Ponz de Leon in Intern Emerg Med.1 Dr. de Leon argues that the message of health benefits of moderate drinking "seems to me hazardous and extremely dangerous to diffuse in the general population." His reasons included (1) many people may be unable to distinguish between lowmoderate and high consumption of wine, beer or spirits, and alcohol metabolism may differ remarkably from one subject to another; (2) alcohol remains a frequent cause of car crash, and governments (in almost all western countries) try to convince or force people to abstain from drinking before driving; and (3) to consider alcohol as a medication whose consumption may contribute to improved health is another source of concern. Dr. de Leon asks: "Are we truly at the point of prescribing alcohol consumption in order to reduce the risk of stroke and coronary damage?" He concluded "more studies are needed before we can give sensible recommendations on alcohol consumption to the general population."

The de Leon editorial has prompted considerable response from other scientists, including further Letters to the Editor of the journal by Di Castelnuovo, Costanzo, Donati, Iacoviello, and de Gaetano,2 and by Estruch and Lamuela-Raventos.3 In addition, the original editorial has stimulated considerable debate among members of the International Scientific Forum on Alcohol Research. Among key arguments presented by the Forum members, all experts in scientific research on alcohol, are that messages to the public should not be "paternalistic" (we will tell you what is best for you since you are not smart enough to understand the facts), and that guidelines must always be based on sound, balanced scientific data rather than on uninformed opinion. Forum members emphasized that there are certain people who should not drink at all (including former abusers of drugs or alcohol, people with certain medical conditions, children and adolescents, and people with religious or moral proscriptions against alcohol), and there can never be a general recommendation for everybody to consume alcohol. On the other hand, physicians should not withhold from their patients and the public scientifically sound and balanced data on alcohol and health. And the data are extremely strong supporting a role for moderate alcohol intake, for appropriate adults, for the reduction in risk of coronary artery disease and other diseases of ageing.

Several Forum members pointed out that it was unfortunate that the journal had chosen to publish the original letter that castigates alcohol from an author with good scientific credentials, but little to no apparent research expertise in the subject of alcohol and health. Many Forum members disagreed with the statement of de Leon that "Many people may be unable to distinguish between lowmoderate and high consumption of wine, beer or spirits." A leading scientist dealing with this subject for decades, Dr. Arthur Klatsky, has written: "Most people know very well what the difference is between light to moderate drinking and binge or excessive drinking. While some patients may rationalize their heavy drinking because of its purported health effects, I have yet to find someone who had developed alcohol abuse because of messages about the health effects of moderate drinking." Medical practitioners, in his view, "have a 'solemn duty' to tell the truth about alcohol consumption, as they understand it, to all of their patients." While pointing out that certain individuals will not benefit from the consumption of alcohol, several Forum members believed that it would be unethical for physicians to withhold from middle-aged or elderly subjects at risk of cardiovascular disease information on the potential benefits of light-to-moderate drinking


'/>"/>

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

Related medicine news :

1. Henry Ford Hospital study: Shoulder function not fully restored after surgery
2. Prevention of bad lifestyle habits should be tackled even before 13 years
3. E-Cigarettes Should Be Banned Until Made Safe: Study
4. Hospital perks: How much should hospitals be rewarded for the patient experience?
5. Women With Breast Cancer History Should Consider MRI: Study
6. Women with personal history of breast cancer should be screened with MRI
7. Fresh Seafood Shouldnt Smell Fishy, Food Science Expert Says
8. Radiation fears should not deter women from mammography screening
9. Most hysterectomies should be performed vaginally or laparoscopically
10. Severely injured should go directly to trauma center: Research
11. Concussion Should Sideline Athletes: Neurologists
Post Your Comments:
*Name:
*Comment:
*Email:
(Date:6/26/2016)... ... June 26, 2016 , ... PawPaws brand pet supplements owned ... developed to enhance the health of felines. The formula is all-natural and is made ... in the PawPaws Cat Kidney Support Supplement Soft Chews are Astragalus Root ...
(Date:6/25/2016)... (PRWEB) , ... June 25, 2016 , ... The temporary closing of Bruton Memorial Library ... City Observer , brings up a new, often overlooked aspect of head lice: the parasite’s ... for fumigation is not a common occurrence, but a necessary one in the event that ...
(Date:6/25/2016)... (PRWEB) , ... June 25, 2016 , ... On Friday, ... presented a Bronze Wellness at Work award to iHire in recognition of their exemplary ... part of the 7th annual Maryland Workplace Health & Wellness Symposium at the BWI ...
(Date:6/24/2016)... CA (PRWEB) , ... June 24, 2016 , ... Marcy was in a crisis. Her ... would lash out at his family verbally and physically. , “When something upset him, he ... he would use it. He would throw rocks at my other children and say he ...
(Date:6/24/2016)... NY (PRWEB) , ... June 24, 2016 , ... Topical BioMedics, Inc, makers of Topricin ... companies that call for a minimum wage raise to $12 an hour by 2020 and ... This will restore the lost value of the minimum wage, assure the wage floor does ...
Breaking Medicine News(10 mins):
(Date:6/24/2016)... 24, 2016 The Academy of Managed Care ... that would allow biopharmaceutical companies to more easily ... make formulary and coverage decisions, a move that addresses ... medicines. The recommendations address restrictions in the ... the drug label, a prohibition that hinders decision makers ...
(Date:6/24/2016)... -- According to a new market research ... Safety Pen Needles), Needle Length (4mm, 5mm, 6mm, 8mm, ... Purchase (Retail, Non-Retail) - Trends & Global Forecasts to ... for the forecast period of 2016 to 2021. This ... 2021 from USD 1.65 Billion in 2016, growing at ...
(Date:6/23/2016)... -- MedSource announced today that it has selected Datatrial,s ... choice.  This latest decision demonstrates MedSource,s commitment to ... by offering a state-of-the-art electronic data capture (EDC) ... the EDC platform of choice in exchange for ... long been a preferred EDC platform by our ...
Breaking Medicine Technology: