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J Am Coll Cardiol. 2010 Mar 30;55(13):1339-47. doi: 10.1016/j.jacc.2010.01.006.

Alcohol consumption and mortality in patients with cardiovascular disease: a meta-analysis.

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Laboratory of Genetic and Environmental Epidemiology, RE ARTU Research Laboratories, John Paul II Centre for High Technology Research and Education in Biomedical Sciences, Catholic University, Campobasso, Italy.



The purpose of this study was to quantify the relation between alcohol consumption and cardiovascular and total mortality in patients with a history of cardiovascular events.


Regular, moderate alcohol consumption by healthy people is associated with lower cardiovascular and all-cause mortality. No extensive meta-analysis is presently available on the possible association of alcohol consumption with secondary events in patients with cardiovascular disease.


Articles were retrieved through October 2009 by search in PubMed and EMBASE. Fifty-four publications were identified, but only 8 were selected for our analyses, including 16,351 patients with a history of cardiovascular disease. Secondary events were cardiovascular or all-cause mortality. All selected studies were prospective. Data were pooled with a weighted, least-squares regression analysis of second-order fractional polynomial models.


The meta-analysis on cardiovascular mortality showed a J-shaped pooled curve with a significant maximal protection (average 22%) by alcohol at approximately 26 g/day. In the meta-analysis on mortality for any cause, J-shaped pooled curves were observed in the overall analysis (average maximal protection of 18% in the range of 5 to 10 g/day) and in all subgroups according to either the type of patients or the characteristics of the studies.


In patients with cardiovascular disease, light to moderate alcohol consumption (5 to 25 g/day) was significantly associated with a lower incidence of cardiovascular and all-cause mortality.

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