From 16 studies, results confirmed a J-shaped relationship between wine intake and reduced vascular risk, with maximal protection — an average 31% (95% confidence interval (CI): 19%) was observed at 21 g/day of alcohol. Similarly, from 13 studies a J-shaped relationship was apparent for beer (maximal protection: 42% (95% CI: 19%) at 43 g/day of alcohol).
From 12 studies reporting separate data on wine or beer consumption, two closely overlapping dose–response curves were obtained suggesting maximal protection of 33% at 25 g/day of alcohol approximately (2 drinks/day by US standards and 3 units for the UK) for vascular diseases. A statistically significant association between spirits intake and vascular disease was not found.
A major problem with all meta-analyses is the inability to control for variables that were not included in the original reports. While there were adequate data to adjust for most of the usual confounders, there was no way to evaluate effects of the pattern of drinking (frequency, binge drinking, etc.) on the cardiovascular outcomes.
Limited data were available about the association of spirits intake and cardiovascular risk. While the trend was for a decrease in such risk with increasing spirits consumption, there was not a statistically significant relation in the meta-analysis based on 10 independent relationships using random models.
The key result of this meta-analysis is the finding of a very similar inverse association between the consumption of beer and the consumption of wine in relation to cardiovascular outcomes. While a similar association was not seen for spirits consumption, the data presented do not permit the conclusion that the key effects on cardiovascular disease are primarily due to the polyphenols in beer and wine. Similarly, the results do not permit the conclusion that the effect on cardiovascular disease is due primarily to the alcohol in these beverages. The lack of a similar J-shaped association for spirits may have been due to different drinking patterns (e.g., more binge drinking among consumers of spirits), as the pattern of drinking was not included as a confounder in the analyses.
Reference: Costanzo S, Di Castelnuovo A, Donati MB, Iacoviello L, de Gaetano G. Wine, beer or spirit drinking in relation to fatal and non-fatal cardiovascular events: a meta-analysis. Eur J Epidemiol 2011;DOI 10.1007/s10654-011-9631-0
Comments on this critique by the International Scientific Forum on Alcohol Research were provided by the following members:
Ross McCormick, PhD, MSc, MBChB, Associate Dean, Faculty of Medical and Health Sciences, The University of Auckland, Auckland, New Zealand
Arne Svilaas, MD, PhD, general practice and lipidology, Oslo University Hospital, Oslo, Norway
David Vauzour, PhD, Senior Research Associate, Department of Nutrition, Norwich Medical School, University of East Anglia, Norwich, UK
Andrew L. Waterhouse, PhD, Marvin Sands Professor, Department of Viticulture and Enology, University of California, Davis.
Yuqing Zhang, MD, DSc, Clinical Epidemiology, Boston University School of Medicine, Boston, MA, USA
R. Curtis Ellison, MD, Section of Preventive Medicine/Epidemiology, Boston University School of Medicine, Boston, MA, USA
For the detailed critique of this paper by the International Scientific Forum on Alcohol Research, go to http://www.bu.edu/alcohol-forum or http://www.bu.edu/alcohol-forum/critique-062-similar-effects-of-beer-and-wine-on-risk-of-cardiovascular-disease-and-total-mortality-22-november-2011/
The specialists who are members of the Forum are happy to respond to questions from Health Editors regarding emerging research on alcohol and health and will offer an independent opinion in context with other research on the subject.Contacts for Editors
R. Curtis Ellison | EurekAlert!
Serious children’s infections also spreading in Switzerland
26.07.2017 | Universitätsspital Bern
New vaccine production could improve flu shot accuracy
25.07.2017 | Duke University
Strong light-matter coupling in these semiconducting tubes may hold the key to electrically pumped lasers
Light-matter quasi-particles can be generated electrically in semiconducting carbon nanotubes. Material scientists and physicists from Heidelberg University...
Fraunhofer IPA has developed a proximity sensor made from silicone and carbon nanotubes (CNT) which detects objects and determines their position. The materials and printing process used mean that the sensor is extremely flexible, economical and can be used for large surfaces. Industry and research partners can use and further develop this innovation straight away.
At first glance, the proximity sensor appears to be nothing special: a thin, elastic layer of silicone onto which black square surfaces are printed, but these...
3-D shape acquisition using water displacement as the shape sensor for the reconstruction of complex objects
A global team of computer scientists and engineers have developed an innovative technique that more completely reconstructs challenging 3D objects. An ancient...
Physicists have developed a new technique that uses electrical voltages to control the electron spin on a chip. The newly-developed method provides protection from spin decay, meaning that the contained information can be maintained and transmitted over comparatively large distances, as has been demonstrated by a team from the University of Basel’s Department of Physics and the Swiss Nanoscience Institute. The results have been published in Physical Review X.
For several years, researchers have been trying to use the spin of an electron to store and transmit information. The spin of each electron is always coupled...
What is the mass of a proton? Scientists from Germany and Japan successfully did an important step towards the most exact knowledge of this fundamental constant. By means of precision measurements on a single proton, they could improve the precision by a factor of three and also correct the existing value.
To determine the mass of a single proton still more accurate – a group of physicists led by Klaus Blaum and Sven Sturm of the Max Planck Institute for Nuclear...
26.07.2017 | Event News
21.07.2017 | Event News
19.07.2017 | Event News
26.07.2017 | Physics and Astronomy
26.07.2017 | Life Sciences
26.07.2017 | Earth Sciences