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
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