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:10/13/2017)... ... October 13, 2017 , ... ... process to promote standards of excellence for the field of eating disorders, announces ... 22 – 25, 2018 in Orlando, Florida at the Omni Resort at ChampionsGate. ...
(Date:10/13/2017)... ... ... Apple Rehab Shelton Lakes , which specializes in the delivery of ... part of a disaster drill on October 3rd. , Apple Rehab participated with the ... as well as the Connecticut Long Term Care Mutual Aid Plan (LTC-MAP). The ...
(Date:10/13/2017)... ... October 13, 2017 , ... Global Healthcare Management’s 4th Annual ... in Milford, NJ. This free event, sponsored by Global Healthcare Management’s CEO, Jon ... fun run is geared towards children of all ages; it is a non-competitive, non-timed ...
(Date:10/13/2017)... ... October 13, 2017 , ... “The Journey: From the ... danger possible to save lost souls in the Philippines. “The Journey: From the Mountains ... a dedicated teacher of the Bible. She has taught all ages and currently teaches ...
(Date:10/12/2017)... ... ... Planet Fitness, one of the largest and fastest growing franchisors and operators ... location in Covington, LA at 401 N. U.S. Highway 190, in January of 2018. ... in the Holiday Square shopping center. Its location allows it to serve both Covington ...
Breaking Medicine News(10 mins):
(Date:10/11/2017)... MENLO PARK, Calif. , Oct. 11, 2017 /PRNewswire/ ... a national scientific team that developed an innovative way ... and quantity of the delivery of new drugs. ... the 2017 Fall Clinical Dermatology Conference will show how ... Massachusetts General Hospital, Harvard Medical School used a suite ...
(Date:10/10/2017)... ORANGE COUNTY, Calif. , Oct. 10, 2017  NDS received ... Mobile  — a medical-grade battery-powered display stand specifically designed for ... aims to transform technology into a clinical solution to support the ... costs. Innovative Design ... NDS ZeroWire Mobile Wireless Solution ...
(Date:10/4/2017)... , Oct. 4, 2017  South Korean-based healthcare ... CPR training aide "cprCUBE" on Kickstarter. The device will ... during cardiac arrests with better efficiency compared to the ... offers real-time feedback on efficacy of the compression for ... campaign has a goal to raise $5,000. ...
Breaking Medicine Technology: