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Addiction. 2013 Dec;108(12):2051-7. doi: 10.1111/add.12104. Epub 2013 Mar 1.

Alcohol-a universal preventive agent? A critical analysis.

Author information

1
Actis, Oslo, Norway.

Abstract

BACKGROUND:

In observational studies, moderate drinking is associated with a reduced risk of more than twenty different diseases and health problems. However, it would be premature to conclude that there is a causal relationship.

METHOD:

This paper critically reviews the evidence for such associations.

FINDINGS:

It was found that reasons for questioning the causal association of moderate drinking and a reduced health risk are: the lack of dose-response relationships; the characteristics and lifestyles of today's abstainers and moderate drinkers; the lack of plausible biological mechanisms; the problems in the classification of drinking groups, and; the general limitations of observational studies.

CONCLUSIONS:

The evidence for the harmful effects of alcohol is undoubtedly stronger than the evidence for beneficial effects.

KEYWORDS:

Alcohol; causallity; confounders; diseases; prevention

PMID:
23297738
DOI:
10.1111/add.12104
[Indexed for MEDLINE]
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