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Eur Heart J. 2004 Jul;25(13):1153-62.

Alcohol intake and diet in France, the prominent role of lifestyle.

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  • 1INSERM U558, Department of Epidemiology, Faculty of Medicine, 37, allées Jules Guesde, 31073 Toulouse cedex, France.



Moderate alcohol intake is related to a decrease of coronary heart disease. This protective effect may be attributed to ethanol but may also depend on the type of alcoholic beverages. However, these differences may be confounded by lifestyle and diet. We investigated the relationships between alcohol consumption, beverage type preference and socio-economic status, diet and lifestyle.


A cross-sectional survey on cardiovascular risk factors and nutrition was carried out from 1995 to 1997 by the French MONICA Centres. A sample of 1110 middle-aged men (45-64 years) was randomly recruited; 12.8% of men were abstainers and 16.3% reported a consumption of #10878;60 g/d alcohol. Smoking, waist-to-hip ratio and hypertension increased along with the amount of alcohol intake. Physical activity (from 40.9% in abstainers to 23.8% in heavy drinkers, p=0.0025), educational level (from 11.9+/-4.4 to 11.1+/-3.8 years, p=0.01), socio-economic status and diet quality index (from 7.1+/-2.3 to 6.3+/-2.0, p<0.0001 after multivariate adjustment) decreased along with the increase of alcohol consumption and were higher among wine drinkers than among beer or mixed drinkers. Diet quality index was 7.1+/-1.9, 6.4+/-1.8 and 6.6+/-1.9 among wine, beer and mixed drinkers, respectively (p=0.007 after multivariate adjustment).


Moderate alcohol drinkers or wine drinkers have healthy diet and behaviours compared to other drinkers or abstainers. The living area plays a significant role in the dieting behaviours.

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