Drinking Alcohol Reduces Risk of Ischemic Heart Disease

An anaysis of 44 observational studies that examined alcohol consumption as a risk factor for ischemic (or ischaemic) heart disease was conducted. The studies were completed over a 30 year period (1980-2010).

Ischemic cardiomyopathy or heart disease is a condition in which the heart can no longer pump enough blood to the rest of the body because of coronary artery disease. This is caused by a narrowing of the small blood vessels that supply blood and oxygen to the heart.

The risk of ischemic heart disease was significantly lower among moderate drinkers compared with both alcohol abstainers and those who drank heavily.

The maximum protective effects against ischemic heart disease for men occured at consumption levels between 2.7 and 5.3 standard drinks per day. For women, the maximum protective effect occurred between .92 and 2.6 standard drinks per day.

These consumption levels are much higher than current guidelines from the U.S. government.

A standard alcoholic drink is:

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  • Roerecke, M. and Rehm, J. The cardioprotective assocition of average alcohol consumption and ischaemic heart disease: a systematic veview and meta-analysis. Addiction, January 9, 2012. [Epub ahead of print] doi: 10.1111/j.1360-0443.2012.03780.x.

Readings on Ischemic Heart Disease

  • Beller, G. Chronic Ischemic Heart Disease. St. Louis, MO: Mosby, 1995.
  • Delgado, R. Interventional Treatment of Advanced Ischemic Heart Disease. London : Springer, 2009.
  • Falk, E. Ischemic Heart Disease. Köln : Dt. Ärzte-Verl., 2007.
  • Ferrari, R., et al. Ischemic Heart Disease: 130 Questions & Answers. Neuilly-sur-Seine Cedex, France : Servier, 2005
  • Parker, P.M. and James N Parker, J.N. Ischemic Heart Disease: A Medical Dictionary, Bibliography, and Annotated Research Guide to Internet References. San Diego, CA : ICON Health Publications, 2004.
  • Vaska, P.L. Ischemic Heart Disease. Philadelphia, PA: J.B. Lippincott, 1995.

Filed Under: Heart

This website is informational only. It makes no suggestions or recommendations about any subject.
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