Drinking Alcohol Reduces Risk of Second Heart Attack and Death

A follow-up study of 5,447 patients diagnosed with vascular disease or diabetes was conducted after 4.7 years to determine effects of consuming alcohol.

Among patients who consumed 10-20 drinks per week, the risk of coronary heart disease was reduced by about 60% and the risk of stroke was reduced by 33%, compared to alcohol abstainers or non-drinkers.

The moderate consumption of alcohol significantly reduced the risk of amputation, vascular death, and all-cause death. However, drinking heavily increased the risk of these problems.

Note: This website does not provide any health advice or recommendations regarding drinking alcohol and heart attacks, or any other health or medical advice of any kind, and none should be inferred.


  • Beulens, J.W., et al. Alcohol consumption and risk of recurrent cardiovascular events and mortality in patients with clinically manifest vascular disease and diabetes mellitus: The Second Manifestations of ARTerial (SMART) disease study. Atherosclerosis. 2010 May 6. [Epub ahead of print]

Readings on Alcohol, Cardiovascular Disease, and Hypertension:

  • (listing does not imply endorsement)
  • de Lorgeril, M., Salen, P., Martin, J., Boucher, F., Paillard, F., de Leiris, J. Wine drinking and risks of cardiovascular complications after recent acute myocardial infarction. Circulation, 2002, 106(12),1465-1469.
  • Gaziano, J., et al. Potential mortality benefits for drinkers with previous heart attacks. The Lancet, 1998, 352, M 1882-1885.
  • Imre Janszky, Rickard Ljung, Staffan Ahnve, Johan Hallqvist, Anna M. Bennet and Kenneth J. Mukamal. Alcohol and long-term prognosis after a first acute myocardial infarction: the SHEEP study. European Heart Journal, 2008, 29(1), 45-53; doi:10.1093/eurheartj/ehm509
  • King, Dana E., Mainous, III, Arch G. and Geesey, Mark E. Adopting moderate alcohol consumption in middle-age: Subsequent cardiovascular events. American Journal of Medicine, 2008 (March), 121(3).
  • Mulcamel, K.J., et al. Alcohol consumption after myocardial infarction. Journal of the American Medical Association, 2001, 285(15), 1965-1970; Alcohol and AMI: Benefits from beer, wine, and liquor. American Journal of Nursing, 2001, 101(8), 18.
  • National Institute on Alcohol Abuse and Alcoholism. Alcohol Alert, No. 45. October, 1999.
  • Sesso, H.D., et al. Seven -year changes in alcohol consumption and subsequent risk of cardiovascular disease in men. Archives of Internal Medicine, 2001, 160, 2505-2612.
  • University of Missouri-Columbia. Alcohol Helps Reduce Damage after Heart Attack. University of Missouri-Columbia press release, August 30, 2004.

Filed Under: Heart