Moderate Drinking Cuts Mortality in MI Survivors

Inverse link between moderate alcohol consumption and all-cause, cardiovascular mortality

WEDNESDAY, March 28 (HealthDay News) -- Men who have survived a myocardial infarction (MI) benefit from moderate alcohol consumption, with long-term consumption inversely associated with all-cause and cardiovascular mortality, according to a study published online March 27 in the European Heart Journal.

To investigate the association between alcohol consumption and mortality among survivors of MI, Jennifer K. Pai, Sc.D., from Brigham and Women's Hospital and Harvard Medical School in Boston, and colleagues followed 1,818 male MI survivors from the Health Professionals Follow-up Study from 1986 to 2006.

During 20 years of follow-up, the researchers documented 468 deaths. The multivariable-adjusted hazard ratios for all-cause mortality for those drinking 0.1 to 9.9 g/day, 10.0 to 29.9 g/day, and 30 or more g/day, compared with non-drinkers, were 0.78 (95 percent confidence interval [CI], 0.62 to 0.97), 0.66 (95 percent CI, 0.51 to 0.86), and 0.87 (95 percent CI, 0.61 to 1.25). For cardiovascular mortality, the corresponding HRs were 0.74 (95 percent CI, 0.54 to 1.02), 0.58 (95 percent CI, 0.39 to 0.84), and 0.98 (95 percent CI, 0.60 to 1.60). In subgroup analyses, participants with non-anterior infarcts and men with mildly diminished left ventricular function had an inverse association between moderate alcohol consumption and mortality.

"Our results clearly support the hypothesis that long-term moderate alcohol consumption among individuals with prior MI may be beneficial for all-cause and cardiovascular mortality," the authors write. "This U-shaped association may be stronger among men with better long-term prognosis after MI and further examination is warranted to determine the suitability of moderate alcohol consumption among individuals with other severe cardiovascular conditions."

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