Moderate Drinking Does Not Appear to Prevent Heart Attacks

An analysis of 45 studies of relationships between heart attacks and alcohol consumption reports that the studies that associated moderate drinking with reduced heart attack rates are flawed (Journal of Studies on Alcohol and Drugs, May 2017;78(3):375-386). To show that moderate drinking is associated with heart attack prevention, researchers must show that non-drinkers have more heart attacks than moderate drinkers. The problem is that in most of the studies, the non-drinking group includes a high number of people who have been told that they need to stop drinking because they:

* have liver, heart, lung or kidney disease

* are diabetic

* are alcoholic

* have had heart attacks

* have any of the many other reasons that alcohol can harm them.

Once the researchers remove people who have stopped drinking alcohol for critical health reasons from their non-drinking groups, the drinkers show no advantage over the non-drinkers. Long-term studies that have followed people into their later years have shown no advantage from moderate drinking.

Journal of Studies on Alcohol and Drugs, May 2017;78(3):394-403





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