Latest scientific news 04 December 2014

Lower mortality risk in patients with heart failure only with moderate drinking

In this prospective study of male physicians with existing heart failure, a J-shaped association between moderate intake of alcoholic beverages and risk of death was found. The type of alcoholic beverage consumed did not influence this relation.

Heart failure (HF) occurs when the heart is unable to pump sufficiently to maintain the blood flow for meeting the body’s needs. Approximately 50% of patients with HF diagnosis will die within 5 years. American scientists carried out an observational study in 449 US male physicians with HF to examine whether alcohol consumption and different types of alcoholic beverages are associated with a lower risk of death in subjects with HF. The average age of subjects was 75.7±8.2 years with an average follow-up period of 7 years. The results showed evidence of a J-shaped relation between alcohol consumption and HF mortality, with a significantly reduced risk (40 %) only with a moderate consumption of 1 to 2 drinks per day. There was no relation between beverage preference (beer, wine, or liquor) and mortality rate.

Petrone AB, Gaziano JM, Djoussé L. Alcohol consumption and risk of death in male physicians with heart failure. Am J Cardiol. 2014;114(7):1065-8.

For more information about this article, read the scientific abstract here.