5 june 2024

Alcohol: a cardiovascular friend or foe?

This review comprehensively explores the multifaceted implications of alcohol consumption on health. While acknowledging the potential cardiovascular benefits of moderate alcohol intake, concerns arise with excessive use, especially related to some specific cancer types. The detailed evidence emphasizes the importance for healthcare professionals to convey a balanced message, advocating moderation for cardiovascular benefits while acknowledging potential cancer risks linked to excessive consumption. Regarding moderate consumption, the overall balance favors intake, supported by studies like the Global Burden of Disease Study 2020. The intricate risk-benefit ratio of alcohol use demands tailored explanations based on individual characteristics and habits, considering overall risk profiles for cardiovascular diseases, alcohol-related cancers (for example, breast cancer has been associated with moderate alcohol consumption, although the evidence is not conclusive), and other health issues. Factors such as age, pregnancy, cognitive tasks, and personal history influencing the likelihood of alcohol abuse should inform personalized advice on moderate alcohol consumption. Collaborative efforts among stakeholders, including government agencies and healthcare organizations are crucial for providing up-to-date, comprehensive information. Clinical guidelines stress the complexities of the alcohol-heart healthy relationship, advocating moderation and individualized advice. Within personalized advice, the significance of moderate alcohol consumption, particularly in the form of wine within a Mediterranean diet, is highlighted. Wine is seen as a fundamental component of a wholesome diet, aligning with healthy dietary patterns, rather than a medicinal remedy. Acknowledging wine’s integration into sound nutrition contributes to heart-healthy lifestyles, in line with Mediterranean dietary traditions. Healthcare professionals play a pivotal role in guiding patients on alcohol intake, considering specific health status and risk factors. Public health campaigns focus on educating individuals to make informed choices about alcohol consumption in the broader context of cardiovascular health. In conclusion, achieving cardiovascular health without undue risks necessitates a balanced and personalized approach to alcohol consumption, guided by healthcare professionals and public health recommendations.

Additional Info

  • Authors

    D. I. Castelnuovo A; de Gaetano G.
  • Issue

    Periodical: Minerva Cardiol Angiol - Edition: 20240605
  • Published Date

    5 june 2024