Page last updated: Feb 2016
Alcohol consumption and risk of heart failure

Controversy exists on the association between alcohol consumption and risk of heart failure (HF).

A research team carried out a meta-analysis to summarise available prospective data on alcohol consumption and HF. PubMed was searched for relevant studies published until January 1, 2017. Relative risk (RR) estimates from individual studies were pooled in a randomeffects meta-analysis. A total of 13 prospective studies, with 13,738 HF cases and 355,804 participants, were included in the meta-analysis. Light alcohol drinking (0.1-7 drinks/ week) was inversely associated with risk of HF (RR, 0.86; 95% CI, 0.81-0.90).

There was no statistically significant association between moderate (7.1-14 drinks/week), high (14.1-28 drinks/week), or heavy (>28 drinks/week) alcohol consumption and HF risk. Former drinking was associated with an increased risk of HF compared with never or occasional drinking (RR, 1.22; 95% CI, 1.11-1.33). This meta-analysis found that light alcohol drinking was associated with a lower risk of HF. Former drinking was associated with a higher risk of HF.

Source: Alcohol consumption and risk of heart failure: meta-analysis of 13 prospective studies. Larsson SC; Wallin A; Wolk A. Clinical Nutrition, published early online 19 May 2017.

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