Moderate alcohol consumption before and after heart attack associated with lower risk of all-cause and cardiovascular mortality, shows study.
The Health Professionals Follow-up Study (HPFS) is a prospective cohort study of 51,529 US male health professionals. During the follow up of these men between 1986 to 2006, 1,818 men were confirmed with incident non-fatal myocardial infarction (MI) - a non-fatal heart attack.
Among heart attack survivors, 468 deaths were documented during up to 20 years of follow up. Repeated reports were obtained on alcohol consumption every four years. Average alcohol consumption was calculated prior to and then following the MI.
The overall results showed that the significant reductions in all-cause mortality risk were no longer present for those who drank more than 30 g/day; for this highest consumer group, the adjusted hazard ratio was 0.87 with 95 percent CI of 0.61-1.25.
Even though exposures (such as alcohol) for cardiovascular events (such as MI) may be different after a person has an event than it was before the event, in this study the reductions in risk were almost the same.
For example, both for alcohol intake reported prior to a MI, and that after a non-fatal MI, the risk of mortality was about 30 percent lower for moderate drinkers than it was for abstainers.
This suggests that, in terms of reducing cardiovascular disease, alcohol may have relatively short-term effects, suggesting that frequent but moderate consumption (of under 30g a day for men) may result in the best health outcomes.
The study has been published in the European Heart Journal.