Alcohol consumption

New Study Shows Light Drinking Isn’t Beneficial for Heart Health

The study on alcohol consumption titled “Association between habitual alcohol consumption and risk of cardiovascular disease” was published in the journal Open JAMA Network.

Researchers from Massachusetts General Hospital (MGH), the Broad Institute of MIT and Harvard have determined that alcohol consumption, regardless of level, is associated with a higher risk of cardiovascular disease. Their results contradict the supposed benefits of light to moderate alcohol consumption on heart health, which previously could be confounded with other positive lifestyle factors in people with such consumption.

The study examines 371,463 participants at the UK Biobank, with an average age of 57 and an average alcohol consumption of 9.2 drinks per week. Those who drank the least amount of alcohol had the lowest risk of heart disease, followed by those who abstained, apparently suggesting a positive influence of alcohol consumption. However, they found that this was likely due to healthier lifestyles among lower-level consumers, such as greater physical activity and vegetable consumption and less smoking.

The results state that alcohol consumption should not be recommended for improving cardiovascular health; rather, that reducing alcohol consumption is likely to reduce cardiovascular risk in all individuals, although to varying degrees depending on their current level of consumption“said lead author Krishna G. Aragam, MD, MS, cardiologist at MGH and associate scientist at the Broad Institute.

You can read more of the study here.