The regular consumption of alcohol in moderation is now recognized as reducing the risk of atherosclerosis, coronary heard disease (CHD), ischemic stroke, and peripheral vascular disease. Mortality and morbidity by CHD alone are 40-60% lower in moderate drinkers than among abstainers.
A number of other diseases appear to be reduced by the moderate consumption of alcohol, including duodenal ulcer, gallstones, enteric infections, rheumatoid arthritis, osteoporosis, and diabetes melitus (type II). Compared to abstainers, moderate drinkers exhibit improved mental status characterized by decreased stress and depression, lower absenteeism from work, and decreased incidence of dementia (including Alzheimer’s disease).
The authors observe that “Although limits of safe drinking have been conservatively defined, it is regrettable that political considerations are hampering the clinical application of this knowledge and its dissemination to the lay public.”
Filed Under: Health