Navigation Links
Light Drinking Good for the Heart
Date:3/22/2010

Two studies confirm previous evidence that it reduces mortality

MONDAY, March 22 (HealthDay News) -- Two major studies confirm the current medical consensus that moderate drinking appears to be good for the heart but heavy drinking is bad for health in general.

"This would not change our current guidelines, which provide an upper limit and not a lower limit, no more than two drinks a day for men and no more than one drink a day for women," said Dr. Kenneth J. Mukamal, an associate professor of medicine at Harvard Medical School and an internist at Beth Israel Deaconess Medical Center. He is lead author of one of the reports published online March 23 in the Journal of the American College of Cardiology.

The new study, using data from nine National Health Interview Surveys done between 1987 and 2000, is more thorough than previous reports and provides "some of the strongest evidence to date" of a link between moderate drinking and a lower risk of cardiovascular disease, Mukamal said.

Specifically, the study tries to separate out the health effects of people who list themselves as abstainers, some of whom have never touched the stuff and others who were heavy drinkers but gave it up because of possible damage to their health.

"Some studies have done better than others at that, but this is by far the largest effort to do it," Mukamal said. "We have data on more than 2 million person-years, appropriately weighted so that it is representative of Americans over the last 20 years."

The study looked specifically at deaths from cardiovascular conditions such as heart attack and stroke. It found a lower rate of such deaths in light and moderate drinkers than among people who never drank or quit. The type of alcoholic beverage -- beer, wine, liquor -- made no difference.

"Indeed, the lowest rate of cardiovascular mortality was among those who drink moderately," Mukamal said. "That benefit is clearly eliminated in people who drank above that level."

The results "dovetail nicely" with those of previous reports, but "they are not likely to lead to any recommendation to drink alcohol," Mukamal said, since drinking can have adverse effects on organs outside the cardiovascular system.

A second report in the same issue of the journal by Italian doctors and epidemiologists at Catholic University, in Campobasso, looked at the relationship between alcohol consumption and death rates in eight studies that included more than 29,000 drinkers and nondrinkers who had cardiovascular disease.

Moderate alcohol intake had a protective effect for those people, the report said. It found the maximum reduction in risk of death from all causes among those whose alcohol intake ranged from 5 to 10 grams a day. (A typical drink is usually defined as containing 13.7 grams of alcohol.)

For cardiovascular deaths alone, the maximum protective effect -- a 22 percent reduction -- was found for a daily intake of 25 grams of alcohol. The death rate went up with higher daily alcohol intake levels.

Their bottom line: "In patients with cardiovascular disease, light to moderate alcohol consumption (5 to 25 grams per day), was significantly associated with a lower incidence of cardiovascular and all-cause mortality."

But it's important to remember that advice about drinking should be made on the basis of a person's specific risk factors, said Dr. Arthur L. Klatsky, a senior consultant in cardiology at the Kaiser Permanente Health Plan in California, who wrote an accompanying editorial.

For example, there is no net benefit of moderate drinking for young women, since it increases the risk of breast cancer, Klatsky said, but the cardiovascular benefits for middle-aged men and women are there.

"Advice about this has to be given on an individual basis," he said.

More information

Frequently asked questions about alcohol and health are answered by the U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention.



SOURCES: Kenneth J. Mukamal, M.D., associate professor, medicine, Harvard Medical School, and internist, Beth Israel Deaconess Medical Center, Boston; Arthur L. Klatsky, M.D., senior consultant, cardiology, Kaiser Permanente Health Plan, Oakland, Calif.; March 23, 2010, Journal of the American College of Cardiology, online


'/>"/>
Copyright©2010 ScoutNews,LLC.
All rights reserved

Related medicine news :

1. CCH Briefing Highlights Employer, Medicare Provisions of Health Care Reform Proposals
2. Restless Josie, an Internet Adventure Travel Show, Empowers and Enlightens!
3. Daylight Savings: Not a Bright Time for All
4. Daylight-Saving Time Switch May Leave You Sleepy, U-M Physician Says
5. Fifty years of the light fantastic: Laser advances spark scientific progress
6. Genetic variant greatly increases lung cancer risk for light smokers
7. Light Drinking Might Help Keep Women Slim
8. Special Session Highlights Late-Breaking Abstracts
9. Sunlight May Help Protect Men From Kidney Cancer
10. Occupational sunlight exposure and kidney cancer risk in men
11. A novel in vitro model for light-induced wound healing
Post Your Comments:
*Name:
*Comment:
*Email:
(Date:5/27/2016)... ... May 27, 2016 , ... More than a third of American adults are ... bariatric surgery has received increased attention in recent years, as an article ... to weight loss, most people are familiar with the basic requirements of maintaining a ...
(Date:5/27/2016)... ... , ... W.S. Badger Co. Inc ., the maker of certified organic ... one of the best small businesses for new dads by Fatherly, the digital lifestyle ... providing progressive benefits to new parents on the organization’s 2016 Best Places to ...
(Date:5/27/2016)... ... May 27, 2016 , ... This campaign aims to provide a ... as a society can control and change. , As nearly 795,000 Americans suffering from ... within the United States. Plus, with an estimated 129,000 of these people dying from ...
(Date:5/27/2016)... Killeen, Texas (PRWEB) , ... May 27, 2016 , ... ... with satisfying Army body fat composition regulations. This is the first time that ... are normally screened at least every six months to ensure they meet the prescribed ...
(Date:5/27/2016)... , ... May 27, 2016 , ... ... scholarships to students studying complementary medicine. Allison Outerbridge is this year’s Life ... award on May 18 at the university’s Student Leadership Awards ceremony. , Outerbridge ...
Breaking Medicine News(10 mins):
(Date:5/27/2016)... Amarantus BioScience Holdings, Inc. ... Regenerative Medicine, Neurology and Orphan Diseases, today announced that President & ... upcoming investor conferences: SeeThru Equity MicroCap Conference   ... New York City , NY When: Tuesday, May ... Conference   Where: Grand Hyatt Hotel, 109 East 42 ...
(Date:5/26/2016)... May 26, 2016   Change Healthcare ... analytics, network solutions and technology-enabled services designed ... entered into a strategic channel partnership with ... software solutions and revenue cycle management services ... and rehabilitation clinics to optimize revenue, operational ...
(Date:5/25/2016)... HILDEN , Germany and ... QIAGEN N.V. (NASDAQ: QGEN ; Frankfurt ... into a licensing and co-development agreement with Therawis Diagnostics GmbH ... project will be to develop and market PITX2 as a ... and other high-risk breast cancer patients. "We are ...
Breaking Medicine Technology: