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More Evidence of Benefit of Light/Moderate Drinking
Alcohol and CV mortality
March 26 2010
“Results showed that, in general, moderate drinking was associated with the lowest cardiovascular mortality, and light drinking was also associated with a better outcome than abstention, whereas heavy drinking was not clearly associated with higher or lower risk.”
“The authors say: "These data bolster previous epidemiological studies that have found lower rates of incident cardiovascular disease among moderate drinkers but also provide cautionary evidence that drinking above recommended limits eliminates this risk reduction."
Light and moderate alcohol consumption was associated with lower rates of cardiovascular mortality than complete abstention, in a new study of more than 245 000 US adults . Heavy drinking was not clearly associated with higher or lower risk.
The study, led by Dr Kenneth Mukamal (Beth Israel Deaconess Medical Center, Boston, MA), is published in the March 30, 2010 issue of the Journal of the American College of Cardiology.
Mukamal et al note that alcohol consumption has been consistently associated with a lower risk of cardiovascular disease in epidemiological studies, an association attributed in great part to an increase in HDL cholesterol. But a number of uncertainties about the association remain, including potentially diverse effects on coronary heart disease (CHD) and stroke; inclusion of former or occasional drinkers with long-term abstainers as a referent category; generalizability to the adult US population; and the importance of drinking patterns in modifying the association. For example, measures of overall volume of alcohol consumption do not allow for knowledge of whether regular light drinking is taking place vs occasional binge drinking.
To look at these issues further, they used data on 245 207 adults participating in the US National Health Interview Survey (NHIS), an annual survey of a nationally representative sample of US adults, between 1987 and 2000. The survey includes detailed questions on alcohol consumption. Participants were assigned as abstainers (further classified as never drinkers, lifetime infrequent drinkers, or former drinkers), light drinkers (three drinks or less per week), moderate drinkers (four to seven drinks per week for women and four to 14 drinks per week for men), and heavy drinkers (more than seven/14 drinks per week, respectively).
No universal sensible limit:
In an accompanying editorial , Dr Arthur Klatsky (Kaiser Permanente Medical Center, Oakland, CA) says this:
"Characteristically elegant presentation from a leading group in the alcohol epidemiology field . . . adds to the case that the inverse relationship of light/moderate drinking to CV mortality is scientifically valid."
As a reminder, however, he notes that all observational studies will be subject to confounders, but that these might act both ways. He says he finds the case compelling, but as is often the case in medical practice, advice about lifestyle must be based on something less than certainty.
Observing that the risk of breast cancer in women is increased with even moderate drinking and that youthful drinking can often be hazardous, especially when combined with motor vehicles, he makes the point that one universal sensible limit is not possible, and the risks of moderate drinking differ by sex, age, personal history, and family history. "There is no substitute for balanced judgment by a knowledgeable, objective health professional. What is required is a synthesis of common sense and the best available scientific facts," Klatsky concludes.
Originally posted by Zosynspiracy
It's one thing to have a couple glasses of wine a day vs. throwing down a few shots of whiskey/vodka or having 3-4 beers every night. I know wine specifically has resveratrol in it and is fermented fruit so it's definitely good for you. I'm not familiar with the health benefits of hard liquor or beer. However, I will say that my father died of a stroke at 63. He had wine every night. My neighbor who lived a long and healthy life into his late 80s had probably a 6 pack of miller beer every night. So you just never know. Alcohol is hard on your liver though. Especially over time.
Noting that that the suggested protective effect of light/moderate drinking was not as strong for cerebrovascular mortality, Mukamal et al suggest that this may reflect the particularly strong contributions of hypertension and atrial fibrillation as risk factors for ischemic stroke, both of which are positively associated with at least heavy drinking, and also some contribution of hemorrhagic stroke, which tends to be positively associated with alcohol consumption.
Another Gin Health Benefits is that it is very good source of losing weight. It helps to fight against the obesity.
Originally posted by BellaMente
I think that the results could be skewed if you take into account that some light/moderate drinkers probably are more relaxed and less stressed out. Maybe the decrease in stress is what keeps them generally healthier...