Featured Research

from universities, journals, and other organizations

Alcohol and your heart: Friend or foe?

Date:
January 30, 2012
Source:
Centre for Addiction and Mental Health
Summary:
A meta-analysis of the relationship between alcohol consumption and heart disease provides new insight into the long-held belief that drinking a glass of red wine a day can help protect against heart disease.

A meta-analysis done by the Centre for Addiction and Mental Health (CAMH) into the relationship between alcohol consumption and heart disease provides new insight into the long-held belief that drinking a glass of red wine a day can help protect against heart disease.

Related Articles


"It's complicated," says Dr. Juergen Rehm, director of social and epidemiological research at CAMH. Dr. Rehm's paper, co-authored by Michael Roerecke, was recently published in the journal Addiction. "While a cardioprotective association between alcohol use and ischaemic heart disease exists, it cannot be assumed for all drinkers, even at low levels of intake," says Dr. Rehm.

Ischaemic heart disease is a common cause of illness and death in the Western world. Symptoms are angina, heart pain, and heart failure. Based on 44 studies, the analyses used 38,627 ischaemic heart disease events (including deaths) among 957,684 people.

"We see substantial variation across studies, in particular for an average consumption of one to two drinks a day," says Dr. Rehm. The protective association may vary by gender, drinking patterns, and the specific health effects of interest. Differential risk curves were found by sex, with higher risk for morbidity and mortality in women.

Moreover, for any particular individual, the relationship between alcohol consumption and ischemic heart disease should not be isolated from other disease outcomes. Even at low levels, alcohol intake can have a detrimental effect on many other disease outcomes, including on several cancers.

"Even one drink a day increases risk of breast cancer, for example," says Dr. Rehm. "However, with as little as one drink a day, the net effect on mortality is still beneficial. After this, the net risk increases with every drink."

"If someone binge drinks even once a month, any health benefits from light to moderate drinking disappear." Binge drinking is defined more than four drinks on one occasion for women, and more than five for men.

Given the complex, potentially beneficial or detrimental effects of alcohol on ischaemic heart disease in addition to the detrimental effects on other disease categories, any advice by physicians on individual drinking has to take the individual risk constellation (such as familial predisposition for certain diseases and behavior with respect to other risk factors) into consideration.

"More evidence on the overall benefit-risk ratio of average alcohol consumption in relation to ischaemic heart disease and other diseases is needed in order to inform the general public or physicians about safe or low-risk drinking levels," the study concludes. "Findings from this study support current low-risk drinking guidelines, if these recognize lower drinking limits for women."


Story Source:

The above story is based on materials provided by Centre for Addiction and Mental Health. Note: Materials may be edited for content and length.


Journal Reference:

  1. Michael Roerecke, Jόrgen Rehm. The cardioprotective association of average alcohol consumption and ischaemic heart disease: a systematic review and meta-analysis. Addiction, 2012; DOI: 10.1111/j.1360-0443.2012.03780.x

Cite This Page:

Centre for Addiction and Mental Health. "Alcohol and your heart: Friend or foe?." ScienceDaily. ScienceDaily, 30 January 2012. <www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2012/01/120130131157.htm>.
Centre for Addiction and Mental Health. (2012, January 30). Alcohol and your heart: Friend or foe?. ScienceDaily. Retrieved March 4, 2015 from www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2012/01/120130131157.htm
Centre for Addiction and Mental Health. "Alcohol and your heart: Friend or foe?." ScienceDaily. www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2012/01/120130131157.htm (accessed March 4, 2015).

Share This


More From ScienceDaily



More Health & Medicine News

Wednesday, March 4, 2015

Featured Research

from universities, journals, and other organizations


Featured Videos

from AP, Reuters, AFP, and other news services

Adults Only Get The Flu Twice A Decade, Researchers Say

Adults Only Get The Flu Twice A Decade, Researchers Say

Newsy (Mar. 4, 2015) — Researchers found adults only get the flu about once every five years. Scientists analyzed how a person&apos;s immunity builds up over time as well. Video provided by Newsy
Powered by NewsLook.com
Mount Everest Has a Poop Problem

Mount Everest Has a Poop Problem

Buzz60 (Mar. 4, 2015) — With no bathrooms to use, climbers of Mount Everest have been leaving human waste on the mountain for years, and it&apos;s becoming a health issue. Mike Janela (@mikejanela) has more. Video provided by Buzz60
Powered by NewsLook.com
Obamacare's New Supreme Court Battle

Obamacare's New Supreme Court Battle

Washington Post (Mar. 4, 2015) — The Affordable Care Act is facing another challenge at the Supreme Court in King v. Burwell, which deals with subsidies for health insurance. The case could cut out a major provision of Obamacare, causing the law to unravel. Here’s what you need to know about the case. Video provided by Washington Post
Powered by NewsLook.com
Investigation Finds Hurt Workers Suffer More In Some States

Investigation Finds Hurt Workers Suffer More In Some States

Newsy (Mar. 4, 2015) — ProPublica and NPR&apos;s joint investigation found drastic cuts to workers compensation benefits and employees&apos; access to those benefits. Video provided by Newsy
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:

Strange & Offbeat Stories

 

Health & Medicine

Mind & Brain

Living & Well

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