Drinking Alcohol and Risk of Cardiovascular Death

A study analyzing alcohol consumption and the risk of cardiovascular disease prospectively in large representative samples of the U.S. population found that light and moderate drinking greatly reduced the risk of death from cardiovascular disease.

The investigators analyzed nine surveys conducted between 1987 and 2000 by the National Health Interview Survey, an annual survey of U.S. adults. They found that light and moderate drinkers had significantly lower risk of death from cardiovascular disease than did alcohol abstainers (including lifetime abstainers) and heavy drinkers. The risk was reduced about 40% among moderate drinkers and almost as much among light drinkers. The pattern of reduction was similar among both sexes and among different age categories.

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Source:

  • Mukamal, K.J., et al. Alcohol consumption and cardiovascular mortality among U.S. adults, 1987 to 2002. Journal of the American College of Cardiology, 2010, 55, 1328-1335.

Readings on Drinking Alcohol and Cardiovascular Disease Risk:

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  • Mukamal, K. Alcohol intake and noncoronary cardiovascular diseases.
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  • Mukamal, K.J., et al. Alcohol and risk for ischemic stroke in men: the role of drinking patterns and usual beverage. Annals of Internal Medicine, 2005, 142, 11–19.
  • Mukamal, K.J., et al. Alcohol consumption, physical activity, and chronic disease risk factors: a population-based cross- sectional survey. BMC Public Health, 2006, 6, 118.
  • Pletcher MJ, et al. Alcohol consumption, binge drinking, and early coronary calcification: findings from the Coronary Artery Risk Development in Young
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  • Rimm, E.B., et al. Moderate alcohol intake and lower risk of coronary heart disease: meta-analysis of effects on lipids and haemostatic factors. BMJ 1999, 319, 1523– 1528.
  • Rimm EB, et al. Review of moderate alcohol consumption and reduced risk of coronary heart disease: is the effect due to beer, wine, or spirits. BMJ,1996, 312, 731–736.
  • Rimm, E.B., et al. Prospective study of alcohol consumption and risk of coronary disease in men. Lancet 1991, 338, 464 – 468.
  • Sempos CT, et al. Average volume of alcohol consumption and all-cause mortality in African Americans: the NHEFS cohort. Alcohol Clinical and Experimental Research, 2003, 27, 88 –92.
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