Authors of a paper published in European Journal of Clinical Nutrition state that low/moderate alcohol consumption seems to be protective against cardiovascular disease (CVD). Their study aimed to investigate the association of wine/beer consumption with the 10-year CVD incidence.
During 2001-2002, 3042 CVD-free adults consented to participate in the ATTICA study and 2583 of them completed the 10-year follow-up (85% participation rate), For 2020 participants (overall retention rate 66%) precise information was available about fatal/nonfatal CVD incidence (myocardial infarction, angina pectoris, cardiac ischemia, heart failure, chronic arrhythmias, and stroke). Alcohol/ethanol intake and the alcoholic beverages consumed were assessed; participants were categorized into three groups (no use; ≤1 glass/week; >1 glass/week).
Alcohol drinking was reported by 56% of the participants who did not develop a CVD event and 49% of those who had (p = 0.04); whereas ethanol intake was 14 ± 16 g among those who did not had an event vs. 21 ± 18 g among those who had a CVD event (p < 0.001). A strong inverse and similar association between low wine/beer intake (≤1 glass/week) and the risk of developing CVD was observed [HR: 0.40, 95% confidence interval (CI): 0.17-0.98; and HR: 0.43, 95% CI: 0.20- 0.93, respectively], as compared to abstention. No significant association was found in participants exceeding drinking 1 glass/week compared with abstainers. Compared to <2 g/day ethanol intake, participants who reported 2-10, 10-20, and >20 g/ day had CVD-risk HRs (95% CI) of 0.60 (0.40-0.98), 1.22 (0.60-1.14), and 1.81 (0.70-4.61), respectively.
This study revealed similar results of low wine/ beer consumption against CVD incidence, mainly due to its implication on low-grade chronic inflammation.
Source: Beer, wine consumption, and 10-year CVD incidence: the ATTICA study. Panagiotakos DB, Kouli GM, Magriplis E, Kyrou I, Georgousopoulou EN, Chrysohoou C, Tsigos C, Tousoulis D, Pitsavos C. Eur J Clin Nutr.