Featured Research

from universities, journals, and other organizations

Drinking alcohol in moderation protects against heart disease, meta-analysis finds

Date:
February 23, 2011
Source:
BMJ-British Medical Journal
Summary:
Individuals who drink alcohol in moderation (about one drink a day or less) are 14-25 percent less likely to develop heart disease compared to those who drink no alcohol at all, a new meta-analysis by researchers in Canada has found.

Individuals who drink alcohol in moderation (about one drink a day or less) are 14-25% less likely to develop heart disease compared to those who drink no alcohol at all, finds research led by Professor William Ghali from the University of Calgary, published online in the British Medical Journal.

The first paper, led by Paul Ronksley from the University of Calgary, emphasises that a balance needs to be found between the public health message that consuming large amounts of alcohol is bad for you, and the one that drinking in moderation can have health benefits.

An accompanying paper led by Dr Susan Brien, also from the University of Calgary, finds that moderate consumption of alcohol (up to one drink or 15 g alcohol per day for women and up to two drinks or 30 g alcohol per day for men) is good for health. They say moderate amounts of alcohol significantly increase the levels of 'good' cholesterol circulating in the body and this has a protective effect against heart disease.

Brien and colleagues argue that their study strengthens the case that there is a causal link between alcohol consumption and reduced heart disease.

The authors of both papers acknowledge that a number of previous studies have concluded that moderate alcohol consumption has been associated with a decrease in heart disease. However, they say that the research was out-of-date and there was a need for new material. Professor Ghali says his team's research is the most comprehensive to date.

Ghali and colleagues reviewed 84 studies of alcohol consumption and heart disease. They compared alcohol drinkers with non-drinkers and their outcomes in relation to heart disease, death from heart disease, incidences of stroke and death from having a stroke.

In the companion study, Brien and colleagues reviewed 63 studies and investigated alcohol consumption with known physical markers for heart disease such as cholesterol, levels of inflammation, fat cells and the condition of blood vessels. They also assessed the impact of the type of alcohol consumed (wine, beer and spirits).

Interestingly, Brien's research concludes that it is the alcohol content that provides the health benefits not the type of alcoholic beverage (wine, beer or spirits) that is drunk.

Professor Ghali concludes that the debate between the impact of alcohol on heart disease should now centre "on how to integrate this evidence into clinical practice and public health messages."

He adds "with respect to public health messages there may now be an impetus to better communicate to the public that alcohol, in moderation, may have overall health benefits that outweigh the risks in selected subsets of patients … any such strategy would need to be accompanied by rigorous study and oversight of impacts."


Story Source:

The above story is based on materials provided by BMJ-British Medical Journal. Note: Materials may be edited for content and length.


Journal References:

  1. P. E. Ronksley, S. E. Brien, B. J. Turner, K. J. Mukamal, W. A. Ghali. Association of alcohol consumption with selected cardiovascular disease outcomes: a systematic review and meta-analysis. BMJ, 2011; 342 (feb22 1): d671 DOI: 10.1136/bmj.d671
  2. S. E. Brien, P. E. Ronksley, B. J. Turner, K. J. Mukamal, W. A. Ghali. Effect of alcohol consumption on biological markers associated with risk of coronary heart disease: systematic review and meta-analysis of interventional studies. BMJ, 2011; 342 (feb22 1): d636 DOI: 10.1136/bmj.d636

Cite This Page:

BMJ-British Medical Journal. "Drinking alcohol in moderation protects against heart disease, meta-analysis finds." ScienceDaily. ScienceDaily, 23 February 2011. <www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2011/02/110222192913.htm>.
BMJ-British Medical Journal. (2011, February 23). Drinking alcohol in moderation protects against heart disease, meta-analysis finds. ScienceDaily. Retrieved August 30, 2014 from www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2011/02/110222192913.htm
BMJ-British Medical Journal. "Drinking alcohol in moderation protects against heart disease, meta-analysis finds." ScienceDaily. www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2011/02/110222192913.htm (accessed August 30, 2014).

Share This




More Mind & Brain News

Saturday, August 30, 2014

Featured Research

from universities, journals, and other organizations


Featured Videos

from AP, Reuters, AFP, and other news services

Treadmill 'trips' May Reduce Falls for Elderly

Treadmill 'trips' May Reduce Falls for Elderly

AP (Aug. 28, 2014) Scientists are tripping the elderly on purpose in a Chicago lab in an effort to better prevent seniors from falling and injuring themselves in real life. (Aug.28) Video provided by AP
Powered by NewsLook.com
Alice in Wonderland Syndrome

Alice in Wonderland Syndrome

Ivanhoe (Aug. 27, 2014) It’s an unusual condition with a colorful name. Kids with “Alice in Wonderland” syndrome see sudden distortions in objects they’re looking at or their own bodies appear to change size, a lot like the main character in the Lewis Carroll story. Video provided by Ivanhoe
Powered by NewsLook.com
Stopping Schizophrenia Before Birth

Stopping Schizophrenia Before Birth

Ivanhoe (Aug. 27, 2014) Scientists have long called choline a “brain booster” essential for human development. Not only does it aid in memory and learning, researchers now believe choline could help prevent mental illness. Video provided by Ivanhoe
Powered by NewsLook.com
Personalized Brain Vaccine for Glioblastoma

Personalized Brain Vaccine for Glioblastoma

Ivanhoe (Aug. 27, 2014) Glioblastoma is the most common and aggressive brain cancer in humans. Now a new treatment using the patient’s own tumor could help slow down its progression and help patients live longer. Video provided by Ivanhoe
Powered by NewsLook.com

Search ScienceDaily

Number of stories in archives: 140,361

Find with keyword(s):
Enter a keyword or phrase to search ScienceDaily for related topics and research stories.

Save/Print:
Share:

Breaking News:
from the past week

In Other News

... from NewsDaily.com

Science News

Health News

Environment News

Technology News



Save/Print:
Share:

Free Subscriptions


Get the latest science news with ScienceDaily's free email newsletters, updated daily and weekly. Or view hourly updated newsfeeds in your RSS reader:

Get Social & Mobile


Keep up to date with the latest news from ScienceDaily via social networks and mobile apps:

Have Feedback?


Tell us what you think of ScienceDaily -- we welcome both positive and negative comments. Have any problems using the site? Questions?
Mobile: iPhone Android Web
Follow: Facebook Twitter Google+
Subscribe: RSS Feeds Email Newsletters
Latest Headlines Health & Medicine Mind & Brain Space & Time Matter & Energy Computers & Math Plants & Animals Earth & Climate Fossils & Ruins