Beer, wine similarly reduce risk of heart disease

Washington: Italian researchers have found a very similar inverse association between the consumption of beer and the consumption of wine in relation to cardiovascular outcomes.

Research by Costanzo S, Di Castelnuovo de Gaetano G et al has sought to separate the effects of wine, beer or spirit drinking in relation to fatal and non-fatal cardiovascular events.

They carried out an updated meta-analysis on the relationship between wine, beer or spirit consumption and cardiovascular outcomes, using state-of-the-art statistical techniques.

Results from 16 studies confirmed a J-shaped relationship between wine intake and reduced vascular risk, with maximal protection — an average 31 percent was observed at 21 g/day of alcohol.

Similarly, from 13 studies a J-shaped relationship was apparent for beer with maximal protection of 42 percent 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 percent 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.

But 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 findings were published in the European Journal of Epidemiology.


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