Alcohol and cardiovascular disease: Position Paper of the Czech Society of Cardiology.

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Alcohol and cardiovascular disease: Position Paper of the Czech Society of Cardiology.

Cent Eur J Public Health. 2019 Dec;27(Supplement):S6-S9

Authors: Cífková R, Krajčoviechová A

Epidemiologic studies consistently report a U-shaped curve relationship between the amount of alcohol consumption and cardiovascular disease, with consumption of ≥ three alcoholic drinks being associated with an increased risk. However, the cardioprotective effect of light and moderate alcohol consumption has been recently questioned. In the absence of a randomized trial confirming the cardioprotective effect of light or moderate alcohol consumption, an alternative method to prove the causality is Mendelian randomization using a genetic variant serving as a proxy for alcohol consumption. A Mendelian randomization analysis by Holmes et al. suggests that a reduction in alcohol intake is beneficial for cardiovascular health also in light to moderate drinkers. In a recent analysis of 83 prospective studies, alcohol consumption was roughly linearly associated with a higher risk of stroke, coronary heart disease excluding myocardial infarction, heart failure and risk of death from aortic aneurysm dissection. By contrast, increased alcohol consumption was associated with a lower risk of myocardial infarction. “Low-risk” alcohol consumption recommended by the National Institute of Public Health, Czech Republic, should not exceed 16 g of 100% ethanol/day for women and 24 g/day for men; at least two days a week should be alcohol free, and the dose of ethanol during binge drinking should not exceed 40 g. In practice, this means one standard drink daily for five days at most and two standard drinks at most when binge drinking. These amounts should be considered the highest acceptable limits, but alcohol consumption in general should be discouraged.

PMID: 31901187 [PubMed – in process]

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