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JAMA. 2001 Apr 18;285(15):1965-70.

Prior alcohol consumption and mortality following acute myocardial infarction.

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  • 1Division of General Medicine and Primary Care, Beth Israel Deaconess Medical Center, 330 Brookline Ave, LY-303, Boston, MA 02215, USA.



Studies have found that individuals who consume 1 alcoholic drink every 1 to 2 days have a lower risk of a first acute myocardial infarction (AMI) than abstainers or heavy drinkers, but the effect of prior drinking on mortality after AMI is uncertain.


To determine the effect of prior alcohol consumption on long-term mortality among early survivors of AMI.


Prospective inception cohort study conducted at 45 US community and tertiary care hospitals between August 1989 and September 1994, with a median follow-up of 3.8 years.


A total of 1913 adults hospitalized with AMI between 1989 and 1994.


All-cause mortality, compared by self-reported average weekly consumption of beer, wine, and liquor during the year prior to AMI.


Of the 1913 patients, 896 (47%) abstained from alcohol, 696 (36%) consumed less than 7 alcoholic drinks/wk, and 321 (17%) consumed 7 or more alcoholic drinks/wk. Compared with abstainers, patients who consumed less than 7 drinks/wk had a lower all-cause mortality rate (3.4 vs 6.3 deaths per 100 person-years; hazard ratio [HR], 0.55; 95% confidence interval [CI], 0.43-0.71) as did those who consumed 7 or more drinks/wk (2.4 vs 6.3 deaths per 100 person-years; HR, 0.38; 95% CI, 0.25-0.55; P<.001 for trend). After adjusting for propensity to drink and other potential confounders, increasing alcohol consumption remained predictive of lower mortality for less than 7 drinks/wk, with an adjusted HR of 0.79 (95% CI, 0.60-1.03), and for 7 or more drinks/wk, with an adjusted HR of 0.68 (95% CI, 0.45-1.05; P =.01 for trend). The association was similar for total and cardiovascular mortality, among both men and women, and among different types of alcoholic beverages.


Self-reported moderate alcohol consumption in the year prior to AMI is associated with reduced mortality following infarction.

[PubMed - indexed for MEDLINE]
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