Alcohol and health: A drink a day won't keep the doctor away
Charles S. Lieber, MD
Alcohol Research and Treatment Center, Section of Liver Disease and Nutrition, Bronx VA Medical Center and Mount Sinai School of Medicine, New York
Address: Charles S. Lieber, MD, Alcohol Research and Treatment Center, Liver Disease and Nutrition Section, Veterans Affairs Medical Center (151-2), 130 West Kingsbridge Road, Bronx, NY 11468-3922
ABSTRACTWe should not advise patients to start drinking alcohol for its alleged cardiovascular benefits. The negative effects of alcohol are well established, and the evidence of alcohol's benefits comes mainly from epidemiologic studies that were not well controlled for other influences, such as lifestyle factors. Moreover, we have other means of lowering cardiovascular risk that are safe and proven. Those who are healthy and whose drinking history shows little risk of developing alcohol dependency may continue to drink moderate amounts. Heavy drinkers should be advised to quit.