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J Intern Med. 2001 Oct;250(4):291-308.

Factors influencing the relation between alcohol and mortality--with focus on wine.

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Danish Epidemiology Science Centre, Institute of Preventive Medicine, H:S Kommunehospitalet, Copenhagen, Denmark.


The impact of alcohol intake on mortality has been described in a large number of prospective population studies from many countries. Most have shown a J-shaped relation between alcohol intake and subsequent mortality, indicating that there are both beneficial and harmful effects of ethanol on health. In exploring the French paradox, it has been suggested that wine may have beneficial effects additional to that of ethanol. Recently, several prospective population studies have supported this idea. However, it is also likely that the apparent additional beneficial effect of wine on health is confounding.

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