Alcohol and health: A drink a day won't keep the doctor away

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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.


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