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Contrasting association between alcohol consumption and risk of myocardial infarction and heart failure

The potential cardio protective effect of light-to-moderate alcohol consumption is reaffirmed by many studies, but the association between heavy drinking and heart failure (HF) risk is unclear. The study examined the association between alcohol consumption and risk of myocardial infarction (MI) and HF in two prospective cohorts.

The authors analysed data from the Cohort of Swedish Men (40,590 men) and the Swedish Mammography Cohort (34,022 women). Participants were free of ischemic heart disease and HF at baseline. MI and HF cases were ascertained by linkage with the Swedish National Patient Register. Cox proportional hazards regression model was used to estimate hazard ratios (HRs) with 95% confidence intervals (CIs).

During follow-up (1998–2010), the authors ascertained 3678 and 1905 cases of MI and HF, respectively, in men and 1500 and 1328 cases of MI and HF, respectively, in women. As found in numerous previous studies over the decades, alcohol consumption was inversely associated (protective) with heart attacks in both men and women (P trend <0.001); compared with light drinkers, the multivariable HRs were 0.70 (95% CI, 0.56–0.87) in men who consumed >28 drinks/week and 0.32 (95% CI, 0.15–0.67) in women who consumed 15–21 drinks/week.

Alcohol consumption was not inversely associated with HF risk. However, in men, the risk of HF was higher in never, former, and heavy drinkers (>28 drinks/week; HR = 1.45; 95% CI, 1.09–1.93) compared with light drinkers.

Alcohol consumption has divergent associations with MI and HF, with an inverse association observed for MI but not HF. Heavy drinking was associated with an increased HF risk in men.

Source: Contrasting association between alcohol consumption and risk of myocardial infarction and heart failure: Two prospective cohorts. Susanna C. Larsson, Alice Wallin, Alicja Wolk. International Journal of Cardiology. DOI: dx.doi.org/10.1016/j.ijcard.2016.12.149

 
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