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Effects of alcohol on risk factors for cardiovascular disease
Date:3/7/2011

one observational studies, research into potential mechanisms of effect, and studies of intermediate outcomes that are in the pathways and processes in the development of disease.

The results of this 2011 meta-analysis are in line with what we know from the previous meta-analyses and the many individual studies: risk reductions for alcohol drinkers relative to non-drinkers of 25% for cardiovascular disease mortality, 29% for incident coronary heart disease, 25% for CHD mortality and 13 % for all cause mortality. The lowest risk of CHD mortality occurred with 1-2 drinks (15-30 grams of alcohol) per day is also in line with previous knowledge.

Messages to the public: Forum member Erik Skovenborg stated: "The public health messages should (and in many countries do) acknowledge the reduced risk of incidence and mortality of coronary heart disease associated with moderate drinking. However, we should not expect official recommendations of light drinking on a par with exercise, vegetables, and not smoking. The caveats would be too many, and official recommendations should be based on prospective, randomized studies. The role of alcohol drinking is best discussed in a scenario of a patient taking medical advice from his personal physician."

Professor Arthur Klatsky also had pertinent comments on this topic: "In the final section of the paper the authors are struggling with the matter of advice. They are trying to come up with a new angle. We should keep in mind that many practitioners have been interacting with their patients about the benefits of light-moderate drinking for years. An overwhelming majority of persons (at least in our Northern California area) have heard of the benefits of light drinking, with many believing that this is specific for red wine. Some do not believe it as, no doubt, do some practitioners. The emotional baggage many have about alcohol will not go away. For these reasons, my enthusiasm is limited for the aut
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Contact: R Curtis Ellison
ellison@bu.edu
508-333-1256
Boston University Medical Center
Source:Eurekalert

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