Page last updated: Tuesday, March 29, 2005
A study by Gaziano et al published in the the Journal of the American College of Cardiology examined the relationship between light to moderate alcohol consumption and cause-specific mortality. A prospective study of 89,299 US men in the age group 40 to 84 years from the Physicians' Health Study cohort was conducted. At baseline they were free of known myocardial infarction, stroke, cancer, or liver disease. Usual alcohol consumption was estimated by a limited food frequency questionnaire.

Previous studies had suggested a J-shaped relation between alcohol and total mortality in men however a U-shaped relationship was observed. There were 3,216 deaths over 5.5 years of follow-up. Compared with rarely/never drinkers, consumers of 1, 2, to 4 and 5 to 6 drinks per week and 1 per day had significant reductions in risk of death.

The relationship between CVD mortality was L-shaped with risk reductions in the highest category of > or =2 drinks per day. No clear harm or benefit was found for total or common site- specific cancers.

There was a non-significant 28% increased risk for the remaining other cancers when or =2 per day drinks were consumed.


A U-shaped relationship between alcohol and total mortality among light-to-moderate drinking men was supported by the data this may reflect an inverse association for cardiovascular mortality, no association for common site-specific cancers and a possible positive association for less common cancers.

Source.Gaziano JM; Gaziano TA; Glynn RJ; Sesso HD; Ajani UA; Stampfer MJ; Manson JE; Hennekens CH: Buring Je, "Light-to-moderate alcohol consumption and mortality in the Physicians' Health Study enrolment cohort", Journal of the American College of Cardiolgy,Vol 35,No 1, 2000, pp96-105

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