by

Charles A. Bertrand, M.D., FACP, DIM-CD (Ret.)
Associate Clinical Professor of Medicine at New York Medical College
and at the Medical University of South Carolina

ALCOHOL, STROKE AND HEART ATTACKS - AN UPDATE (2003)

If one scans prior articles on this website, it seems clear that consumption of alcohol in mild or moderate amounts decreases the risk of having a heart attack or stroke, whereas, heavy consumption increases the risk for both. The jury is still out regarding prescribing alcohol for abstainers ... doctors are reluctant to take this step. Two recent articles zero in on this subject of alcohol consumption.

"Alcohol Consumption and Risk of Stroke" by multiple authors was published in JAMA, vol. 289, no. 5, and is based on a meta analysis (sa search of the medical literature on a specific subject, then defining certain parameters for the basis of the evaluation and then reviewing the pertinent data.) The conclusions are the same as noted in our first paragraph, albeit using a different methodology.

Another fine article published recently in the prestigious New England Journal of Medicine (NEJM) 348, no.2, studied 38,077 male health professionals and for twelve years of follow up. The subjects had a drink three or four days a week and had a decreased risk of having a heart attack. The particular type of drink made no difference... be it a can of beer, a glass of wine or a typical drink of whiskey.

Our conclusions... as a famous French philosopher once wrote, "The more things change, the more they remain the same."




The advice provided on this website is intended to be general in nature and should not be relied upon for specific treatment. If you need personal medical attention please contact your physician.

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