Alcohol in moderation protects against heart disease

Libin Cardiovascular Institute Member and CIPPH Director Dr. William Ghali has recently published research in the British Medical Journal concluding that individuals who drink alcohol in moderation (about one drink a day or less) are 14-25% less likely to develop heart disease compared to those who drink no alcohol at all.

Dr. William Ghali

The first paper, led by Paul Ronksley from the University of Calgary, emphasizes that a balance needs to be found between the public health message that consuming large amounts of alcohol is bad for you, and the one that drinking in moderation can have health benefits.

An accompanying paper led by Dr Susan Brien, also from the University of Calgary, finds that moderate consumption of alcohol (up to one drink or 15 g alcohol per day for women and up to two drinks or 30 g alcohol per day for men) is good for health. They say moderate amounts of alcohol significantly increase the levels of ‘good’ cholesterol circulating in the body and this has a protective effect against heart disease.

First article published February 22, 2011 in BMJ: Association of alcohol consumption with selected cardiovascular disease outcomes

Second article published February 22, 2011 in BMJ: Effect of alcohol consumption on biological markers associated with risk of coronary heart disease

Complete coverage at UCalgary Medicine.

CTV news coverage including an interview with Paul Ronksley. Articles were published by the Columbus Dispatch, the Globe and Mail and USA Today, among others.

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