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Am J Cardiol. 2015 Aug 15;116(4):642-6. doi: 10.1016/j.amjcard.2015.05.029. Epub 2015 May 22.

Perceptions, Information Sources, and Behavior Regarding Alcohol and Heart Health.

Author information

1
Division of Cardiology, Department of Medicine, University of California, San Francisco, California.
2
Department of Epidemiology and Biostatistics, University of California, San Francisco, California.
3
Division of Cardiology, Department of Medicine, University of California, San Francisco, California. Electronic address: marcusg@medicine.ucsf.edu.

Abstract

Despite the equipoise regarding alcohol's cardiovascular effects and absence of relevant rigorous controlled trials, the lay press frequently portrays alcohol as "heart healthy." The public perception of alcohol's heart effects, the sources of those perceptions, and how they may affect behavior are unknown. We performed a cross-sectional analysis of data obtained from March 2013 to September 2014 from consecutive participants enrolled in the Health eHeart Study. Of 5,582 participants, 1,707 (30%) viewed alcohol as heart healthy, 2,157 (39%) viewed it as unhealthy, and 1,718 (31%) were unsure. Of those reporting alcohol as heart healthy, 80% cited lay press as a source of their knowledge. After adjustment, older age (odds ratio 1.11), higher education (odds ratio 1.37), higher income (odds ratio 1.07), US residence (odds ratio 1.63), and coronary artery disease (odds ratio 1.51) were associated with perception of alcohol as heart healthy (all p <0.003). Ever smokers (odds ratio 0.76, p = 0.004) and those with heart failure (odds ratio 0.5, p = 0.01) were less likely to cite alcohol as heart healthy. Those perceiving alcohol as heart healthy consumed on average 47% more alcohol on a regular basis (95% confidence interval 27% to 66%, p <0.001). In conclusion, of >5,000 consecutive Health eHeart participants, approximately 1/3 believed alcohol to be heart healthy, and the majority cited the lay press as the origin of that perception. Those with a perception of alcohol as heart healthy drink substantially more alcohol.

PMID:
26092272
PMCID:
PMC4522219
DOI:
10.1016/j.amjcard.2015.05.029
[Indexed for MEDLINE]
Free PMC Article

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