Review Finds Alcohol Intake Tied to Lower Heart Disease Risk

Analyses find light to moderate alcohol intake protects against cardiovascular disease

WEDNESDAY, Feb. 23 (HealthDay News) -- Light to moderate alcohol consumption appears to have a protective effect against cardiovascular disease, according to two meta-analyses published online Feb. 22 in BMJ.

In a systemic review and meta-analysis, Paul E. Ronksley, of the University of Calgary in Canada, and colleagues analyzed 84 studies of alcohol consumption and cardiovascular disease. The investigators found that light to moderate alcohol consumption was associated with a lower risk of stroke mortality, coronary heart disease mortality, incident stroke, incident coronary heart disease, and cardiovascular disease mortality.

In another systemic review and meta-analysis, Susan E. Brien, Ph.D., of the University of Calgary, and colleagues evaluated 63 studies to assess the association between alcohol consumption and known biomarkers for cardiovascular disease including cholesterol levels as well as adiponectin and fibrinogen levels. The investigators found that moderate consumption of alcohol was associated with increased levels of high-density lipoprotein cholesterol and adiponectin, while lowering fibrinogen levels.

"Favorable changes in several cardiovascular biomarkers (higher levels of high-density lipoprotein cholesterol and adiponectin and lower levels of fibrinogen) provide indirect pathophysiological support for a protective effect of moderate alcohol use on coronary heart disease," Brien and colleagues write.

Abstract - Ronksley
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Abstract - Brien
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