Alcohol intake and cardiovascular risk

January 01, 0001

Alcohol intake and cardiovascular risk

These Canadian and US researchers performed a systematic review and meta-analysis examining the relationship between alcohol consumption and cardiovascular risk. They searched Medline and Embase along with bibliographies and conference proceedings for prospective cohort studies on the association between alcohol consumption and cardiovascular disease. Eighty four studies were included.

The researchers found: "The pooled adjusted relative risks for alcohol drinkers relative to non-drinkers in random effects models for the outcomes of interest were 0.75 for cardiovascular disease mortality (21 studies), 0.71 for incident coronary heart disease (29 studies), 0.75 for coronary heart disease mortality (31 studies), for incident stroke (17 studies), and 1.06 for stroke mortality (10 studies). Dose-response analysis revealed that the lowest risk of coronary heart disease mortality occurred with 1-2 drinks a day, but for stroke mortality it occurred with no more than 1 drink per day. Secondary analysis of mortality from all causes showed lower risk for drinkers compared with non-drinkers (relative risk 0.87)."

The researchers concluded: "Light to moderate alcohol consumption is associated with a reduced risk of multiple cardiovascular outcomes."

Modest alcohol intake appears to produce a slight decrease in cardiovascular risk

For the full abstract, click here.

BMJ 342:d671, 22 February 2011
© 2011 BMJ Publishing Group Ltd.
Association of alcohol consumption with selected cardiovascular disease outcomes: a systematic review and meta-analysis. Paul E Ronksley, Susan E Brien, Barbara J Turner, Kenneth J Mukamal, William A Ghali. Correspondence to W Ghali: [email protected]

Category: K. Circulatory. Keywords: alcohol, consumption, cardiovascular, coronary artery disease, stroke, systematic review with meta-analysis, journal watch.
Synopsis edited by Dr Paul Schaefer, Toledo, Ohio. Posted on Global Family Doctor 11 March 2011

Pearls are an independent product of the Cochrane primary care group and are meant for educational use and not to guide clinical care.