Moderate Alcohol Consumption After Heart Attack Lowers Mortality Risk
Posted May 22 2012 12:49am
Before my heart attack I regularly enjoyed wine with dinner. Living in Northern California I was fortunate enough to take frequent trips to Sonoma and Napa Valley and typically had 8 -10 cases of wine on hand at the house. After my heart attack I cut back significantly to a glass or two a week and the wine collection has dwindled down to at most two cases with trips to wine country few and far between. I was paranoid that alcohol consumption would be a negative to my recovery and prevention regimen. Now research has shown that moderate (no more than two drinks per day) appears to provide some benefit to first time survivors of a heart attack. According to the study consuming up to two drinks per day showed a significantly lower risk of total mortality and cardiovascular mortality. For those who consumed between 10 g and 29.9 g of alcohol per day the cardiovascular risk was lowered by 42%. Alcohol intake was measured by calculating the ethanol content in beer (12.8 g/bottle or can), wine (11.0 g/glass), and liquor (14.0 g/shot). No type of beverage was found to be any more beneficial than another. I guess it ends the debate of if red wine is better than white or a rum and coke. One important note, the study also showed once the consumption of alcohol exceeded two drinks, especially in men, all benefits where no longer statistically significant. There is also risk above the two drink limit that triglyceride levels also spike up which as heart patients we know that is a very bad thing.
Of course before considering consuming any alcohol it is always best to consult with your primary care physician or cardiologist to insure there are no dangerous drug interactions or increased risk of negative side effects with any medications you’re taking.
Pai JK, Mukamal KJ, Rimm EB. Long-term alcohol consumption in relation to all-cause and cardiovascular mortality among survivors of myocardial infarction: the Health Professionals Follow-up Study. Eur Heart J 2012; DOI:10.1093/eurheartj/ehs047. Available at: http://eurheartj.oxfordjournals.org