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Study Challenges Notion That Moderate Drinking Protects the Heart
Date:5/19/2010

e cardioprotective effects of alcohol," they wrote in their conclusion.

But Carla A. Green, a senior investigator at the Kaiser Permanente Center for Health Research in Portland, Ore., said, "There is increasing evidence that a lot of the health benefits that have been attributed to alcohol consumption are due to healthy habits that also include moderate alcohol consumption."

There might be some beneficial effect of alcohol itself, but "based on research to date, it has a much smaller effect than has been thought in the past," Green said.

She cited a recent study she led on alcohol consumption, health status and use of health services. "Heavy drinkers appear to avoid going to doctors," Green said. "The reasons include shame and not wanting to be lectured. So heavy drinkers are not going to get the health care they need and will get sicker."

But neither Green and Klatsky saw a need to change existing recommendations on moderate alcohol consumption. "I see no reason to change the general recommendations about what is sensible drinking," Klatsky said.

More information

Advice on alcohol and health is available from the American Heart Association.



SOURCES: Boris Hansel, M.D., endocrinologist, Hopital de la Pitie, Paris; Arthur Klatsky, M.D., senior consultant, cardiology, Kaiser Pemanente Health Plan, Oakland, Calif.; Carla A. Green, Ph.D., senior investigator, Kaiser Permanente Center for Health research, Portland, Ore.; May 2010 European Journal of Clinical Nutrition


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