may 2024

Is low-level alcohol consumption really health-protective? A critical review of approaches to promote causal inference and recent applications

Heavy and disordered alcohol consumption is a known risk factor for several health conditions and is associated with considerable disease burden. However, at low-to-moderate levels, evidence suggests that drinking is associated with reduced risk for certain health outcomes. Whether these findings represent genuine protective effects or mere methodological artifacts remains unclear, but has substantial consequences for policy and practice. This critical review introduces methodological advances capable of enhancing causal inference from observational research, focusing on the ‘G-methods’ and Mendelian RandomizationThe basic idea of the Mendelian randomization is to use genetic variables as instrumental variables .... We also present and evaluate recent research applying these methods and compare findings to the existing evidence base. Future directions are proposed for improving our causal understanding of the relationships between alcohol and long-term health outcomes.

Additional Info

  • Authors

    Visontay R.; Mewton L.; Sunderland M.; Chapman C.; Slade T.
  • Issue

    Periodical: Alcohol Clin Exp Res (Hoboken) - Volume: 48 - Number: 5 - Edition: 20240421
  • Published Date

    may 2024