After surviving a heart attack, drinking two alcoholic beverages a day may help ward off another heart attack.
|Men who drink 2 glasses of alcohol a day after surviving a heart attack are less likely to die from heart disease or other causes than either nondrinkers or those who drink more, according to a study of nearly 2000 health professionals published online March 28 in the European Heart Journal. Jennifer K. Pai, ScD, assistant professor of medicine and associate epidemiologist, Channing Laboratory, Department of Medicine, Brigham and Women’s Hospital and Harvard Medical School, Boston, Massachusetts, and colleagues used data from the Health Professionals Follow-up Study to track the survival of 1818 men who suffered a heart attack between 1986 and 2006, following-up some participants for as long as 20 years. During the follow-up, some 468 men died.
Although moderate alcohol consumption (between 10.0 and 29.9 g/day) is associated with a lower risk for heart disease and reduced mortality from all causes in healthy populations, the data on post–myocardial infarction (MI) drinking is limited and somewhat contradictory, the authors write.
In the current study, moderate drinking showed clear benefits post-MI in both multivariable-adjusted and unadjusted hazard ratios (HRs). The multivariable-adjusted HR for death from any cause for moderate drinkers compared with nondrinkers was 0.66 (95% confidence interval [CI], 0.51 – 0.86). For light drinkers, who reported consuming between 0.1 and 9.9 g of alcohol per day, the HR was 0.78 (95% CI, 0.62 – 0.97). For heavy drinkers, who consumed 30 g or more of alcohol daily, the HR for all-cause mortality was 0.87 (95% CI, 0.61 – 1.25; P quadratic = .006). The data were adjusted for age at diagnosis, questionnaire follow-up cycle, smoking, body mass index (BMI), physical activity, diabetes, hypertension, lipid-lowering medications, aspirin use, and heart failure.
When just cardiovascular mortality is considered, the benefit for moderate drinkers is more pronounced, with a multivariable-adjusted HR of 0.58 (95% CI, 0.39 – 0.84) compared with 0.74 for light drinkers (95% CI, 0.54 – 1.02) and 0.98 for heavy drinkers (95% CI, 0.60 – 1.60; P quadratic = .003).
“Our findings clearly demonstrate that long-term moderate alcohol consumption among men who survived a heart attack was associated with reduced risk of total and cardiovascular mortality,” Dr. Pai said in a news release. “We also found that among men who consumed moderate amounts of alcohol prior to a heart attack, those who continued to consume alcohol ‘in moderation’ afterwards also had better long-term prognosis.”
Original Article Here