Alcohol lovers: It has no role in Heart disease

by Medindia Content Team on  December 5, 2005 at 7:50 PM Alcohol & Drug Abuse News   - G J E 4
Alcohol lovers: It has no role in Heart disease
Contrary to popular belief that drinking one or two glasses of alcohol helps in heart disease, a New Zealand study claims that alcohol has no such effect.

Dr Rod Jackson and colleagues from Auckland University conducted the study and challenged the French paradox that makes believe alcohol has its role in the health and longevity of French population. They termed it a figment of "confused research".

According to them, "One typical problem with the studies is that they classified those subjects who had heart disease, but stopped drinking alcohol, as non-drinkers." The researchers were of the opinion that the benefit, if any at all, from light to moderate drinking is probably too small to outweigh detrimental effects of alcohol on the health.

In the words of the researchers, "Most studies published in the 1970s and 1980s, when pooled together, found a 20-25 percent reduction in heart disease risk in those who drank lightly or moderation."

The researchers said that these studies were not randomized to avoid confounding errors.

Summarising their study, "Any coronary protection from light to moderate drinking will be very small and unlikely to outweigh the harms. While moderate to heavy drinking is probably coronary-protective, any benefit will be overwhelmed by the known harms."

"If so, the public health message is clear. Do not assume there is a window in which the health benefits of alcohol are greater than the harms - there is probably no free lunch."

In the same league according to the American Heart Association, "drinking too much alcohol can raise levels of some fats called triglycerides in the blood. It can cause alcoholism, high blood pressure, obesity, heart failure, stroke, breast cancer, foetal alcohol syndrome, cardiomyopathy, cardiac arrhythmia, incidents, suicide and sudden cardiac death."

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