Forum for Science, Industry and Business

Sponsored by:     3M 
Search our Site:

 

Further evidence that moderate drinking reduces men's heart attack risk

25.10.2006
Even as studies have consistently found an association between moderate alcohol consumption and reduced heart attack risk in men, an important question has persisted: What if the men who drank in moderation were the same individuals who maintained good eating habits, didn't smoke, exercised and watched their weight? How would you know that their reduced risk of myocardial infarction wasn't the result of one or more of these other healthy habits?

A new study led by researchers at Beth Israel Deaconess Medical Center (BIDMC) and the Harvard School of Public Health (HSPH) helps answer this question. Reported in the October 23, 2006 issue of the Archives of Internal Medicine, the findings show for the first time that among men with healthy lifestyles, those who consumed moderate amounts of alcohol – defined as between one-half and two drinks daily – had a 40 to 60 percent reduced risk of heart attack compared with healthy men who didn't drink at all.

"This latest research speaks to how robust the link is between moderate drinking and heart attack risk," explains lead author Kenneth Mukamal, MD, MPH, an internist at Beth Israel Deaconess Medical Center (BIDMC) and Associate Professor of Medicine at Harvard Medical School. "The fact that we found the association [between alcohol consumption and heart attack] to be just as strong in this tightly controlled group of men as we've found it to be in more general studies suggests that physicians should not avoid alcohol consumption as a topic for discussion when talking with patients about ways to reduce their risk of myocardial infarction."

Using data from the Health Professionals Follow-up Study (a large HSPH-based cohort of more than 50,000 male health professionals between the ages of 40 and 75 who have been answering health-based questionnaires at regular intervals over the past 20 years), Mukamal and HSPH researchers Eric Rimm, ScD, and Stephanie Chiuve, ScD, identified 8,867 men. Members of this group reported four healthy lifestyle behaviors: body mass index (BMI) of less than 25; moderate to vigorous physical activity for at least 30 minutes per day; abstention from smoking; and a diet consistently high in intake of fruits, vegetables, cereal fiber, fish, chicken, nuts, soy and polyunsaturated fat, and low in trans fats, processed meats and red meats, along with regular use of a multi-vitamin supplement.

Over a follow-up period of 16 years, the authors assessed the participants' daily alcohol intake (beer, white wine, red wine, or spirits) using a standardized and validated questionnaire.

Between 1986 and 2002, 106 men had heart attacks. This included eight of the 1,282 who drank between 15 and 29.9 grams of alcohol per day (the equivalent of two drinks), nine of the 714 who drank 30 grams or more per day (more than two drinks), 34 of the 2,252 who drank .1 to 4.9 grams per day and 28 of the 1,889 who did not drink at all.

Their final analysis showed that among the subjects who were able to maintain all four healthy behaviors for at least a portion of the follow-up time (the authors updated data over the course of the study to account for changes in lifestyle habits, such as weight gain), those who consumed alcohol in moderation had a 40 to 60 percent lower risk of heart attack than either the non-drinkers or the very light drinkers (less than 5 grams of alcohol per day).

"Based on these numbers, we estimate that approximately 25 percent of the heart attacks that occurred among these healthy individuals might be attributed to abstention [or extremely light drinking]," explains Mukamal.

Because there are other safe ways to lower heart attack risk, such as exercising, staying trim, and eating properly, moderate alcohol consumption is not typically discussed with patients as another healthy lifestyle option, the authors note.

"There's no question that all of these other behaviors are important, and can help prevent other chronic diseases besides heart disease," says Mukamal. "But there's no reason to consider the recommendations as mutually exclusive." These latest results, he says, suggest that moderate drinking could be viewed as a complement to these other lifestyle interventions in reducing a man's risk of heart attack.

"The medical community has often dismissed moderate drinking out of hand without really considering the evidence on its merits alone," he adds. "One of the goals [of this research] was to focus conversation on the actual risks and benefits of moderate drinking itself. We hope this is one step in initiating that discussion."

Bonnie Prescott | EurekAlert!
Further information:
http://www.bidmc.harvard.edu
http://www.hsph.harvard.edu

More articles from Health and Medicine:

nachricht TSRI researchers develop new method to 'fingerprint' HIV
29.03.2017 | Scripps Research Institute

nachricht Periodic ventilation keeps more pollen out than tilted-open windows
29.03.2017 | Technische Universität München

All articles from Health and Medicine >>>

The most recent press releases about innovation >>>

Die letzten 5 Focus-News des innovations-reports im Überblick:

Im Focus: A Challenging European Research Project to Develop New Tiny Microscopes

The Institute of Semiconductor Technology and the Institute of Physical and Theoretical Chemistry, both members of the Laboratory for Emerging Nanometrology (LENA), at Technische Universität Braunschweig are partners in a new European research project entitled ChipScope, which aims to develop a completely new and extremely small optical microscope capable of observing the interior of living cells in real time. A consortium of 7 partners from 5 countries will tackle this issue with very ambitious objectives during a four-year research program.

To demonstrate the usefulness of this new scientific tool, at the end of the project the developed chip-sized microscope will be used to observe in real-time...

Im Focus: Giant Magnetic Fields in the Universe

Astronomers from Bonn and Tautenburg in Thuringia (Germany) used the 100-m radio telescope at Effelsberg to observe several galaxy clusters. At the edges of these large accumulations of dark matter, stellar systems (galaxies), hot gas, and charged particles, they found magnetic fields that are exceptionally ordered over distances of many million light years. This makes them the most extended magnetic fields in the universe known so far.

The results will be published on March 22 in the journal „Astronomy & Astrophysics“.

Galaxy clusters are the largest gravitationally bound structures in the universe. With a typical extent of about 10 million light years, i.e. 100 times the...

Im Focus: Tracing down linear ubiquitination

Researchers at the Goethe University Frankfurt, together with partners from the University of Tübingen in Germany and Queen Mary University as well as Francis Crick Institute from London (UK) have developed a novel technology to decipher the secret ubiquitin code.

Ubiquitin is a small protein that can be linked to other cellular proteins, thereby controlling and modulating their functions. The attachment occurs in many...

Im Focus: Perovskite edges can be tuned for optoelectronic performance

Layered 2D material improves efficiency for solar cells and LEDs

In the eternal search for next generation high-efficiency solar cells and LEDs, scientists at Los Alamos National Laboratory and their partners are creating...

Im Focus: Polymer-coated silicon nanosheets as alternative to graphene: A perfect team for nanoelectronics

Silicon nanosheets are thin, two-dimensional layers with exceptional optoelectronic properties very similar to those of graphene. Albeit, the nanosheets are less stable. Now researchers at the Technical University of Munich (TUM) have, for the first time ever, produced a composite material combining silicon nanosheets and a polymer that is both UV-resistant and easy to process. This brings the scientists a significant step closer to industrial applications like flexible displays and photosensors.

Silicon nanosheets are thin, two-dimensional layers with exceptional optoelectronic properties very similar to those of graphene. Albeit, the nanosheets are...

All Focus news of the innovation-report >>>

Anzeige

Anzeige

Event News

International Land Use Symposium ILUS 2017: Call for Abstracts and Registration open

20.03.2017 | Event News

CONNECT 2017: International congress on connective tissue

14.03.2017 | Event News

ICTM Conference: Turbine Construction between Big Data and Additive Manufacturing

07.03.2017 | Event News

 
Latest News

Researchers shoot for success with simulations of laser pulse-material interactions

29.03.2017 | Materials Sciences

Igniting a solar flare in the corona with lower-atmosphere kindling

29.03.2017 | Physics and Astronomy

As sea level rises, much of Honolulu and Waikiki vulnerable to groundwater inundation

29.03.2017 | Earth Sciences

VideoLinks
B2B-VideoLinks
More VideoLinks >>>