General Health

Moderate wine drinkers have a lower risk to die from any cause (lower total  mortality risk) than those who abstain or drink heavily. This widely accepted association is known as the J-curve. This J-curve is attributable to the beneficial effect on cardiovascular health which compensates the negative effects of some cancers resulting in a lower risk to die from any possible cause. The relative risk of dying is lowest among light to moderate drinkers and increased among abstainers. However, the risk increases dramatically with each drink above moderation. Thus, while one or two glasses can be considered “good for your health”, drinking more than what guidelines suggest will not provide more benefits, only more harm.


If consumed in excess, alcoholic beverages increase the exposure to a wide range of risk factors whereby the risk rises with the amount of alcohol consumed. Thus, it is crucial to prevent abusive consumption. Alcohol abuse is associated with a range of long-term chronic diseases that reduce the quality of life. These include hypertension, cardiovascular problems, cirrhosis of the liver, alcohol dependence, various forms of cancer, alcohol-related brain damage and a range of other problems. Not only the amount of alcohol but also the drinking patterns are important. Findings from a meta analysis support results from other studies that binge drinking is detrimental to heart health. The authors concluded that it is best for drinkers to avoid binge drinking -- not only because of the possible heart effects, but also because of more immediate risks, like accidents and violence.


In addition to health issues resulting from excessive alcohol consumption, there are social consequences, both for the drinker and for others in the community. The consequences include harm to family members (including children), to friends and colleagues as well as to bystanders and strangers.


The above summary provides an overview of the topic, for more details and specific questions, please refer to the articles in the database.



BACKGROUND: Long-term US trends in alcoholic beverage calorie intakes remain unexamined, particularly with respect to changes in population subgroup-specific patterns over time. OBJECTIVE: This study examined shifts in the consumption of alcoholic beverages, in total and by beverage type, on any given day among US adults in relation to sociodemographic characteristics. DESIGN: This study was a repeated cross-sectional analysis of data from the 1989-1991 and 1994-1996 Continuing Survey of Food Intakes by Individuals and the 2003-2006 and 2009-2012 National Health and Nutrition Examination Surveys. PARTICIPANTS AND SETTING: Adults aged >/=19 years (N=39,298) were targeted. A subset of alcoholic beverage consumers (n=7,081) were studied. STATISTICAL ANALYSES PERFORMED: Survey weighted mean per capita per day intakes (among all participants, both consumers of…
IMPORTANCE: Excess alcohol consumption and alcohol use disorders (AUDs) are associated with substantially increased mortality. Efforts to reduce this toll require an understanding of their causes. OBJECTIVE: To clarify the degree to which the excess mortality associated with AUDs arises (1) from the predispositions of the person who develops AUD (and which would likely be shared by close relatives) and (2) as a direct result of AUD itself. DESIGN, SETTING, and PARTICIPANTS: A prospective cohort and co-relative design study involving all individuals born in Sweden from 1940 to 1965 who had neither died nor migrated prior to 1973 or age 15 years (N = 2821036). They were followed up from January 1, 1973, until December 31, 2010. Alcohol use disorder…
OBJECTIVES: This study provides cross-sectional information on alcoholic beverages as potential sources of moisture and calories for drinkers in the United States. Associations between number of drinks per day and body weight status were also studied. METHODS: Multivariable regression models were used to ascertain associations while controlling for potential confounders. RESULTS: Compared to nondrinkers, daily moisture intake increased as the number of drinks increased. Increase in daily moisture intake of drinkers remained significant even after correcting for diuretic effects of ethanol (men: 270.6 g [95% confidence interval (CI), 115.7-425.4], P = 0.001) and (women: 193.0 g [95% CI, 76.8-309.4], P = 0.002). The increase in daily moisture intake after correcting for diuretic losses were men: 3.9% to 9.6%; and women:…
BACKGROUND: The purpose of our study was to determine whether alcohol intake influences short-term mortality in patients with traumatic brain injury (TBI), using a comprehensive trauma database. METHODS: We collected data from 7 emergency departments (EDs) between June 1, 2008 and May 31, 2010, using the same data form. Cases were included if they met the following criteria: (i) older than 15 and (ii) injuries including TBI. Demographics and outcomes were compared between patients with and without alcohol intake. We present the risk of mortality using hazard ratios and 95% confidence intervals. RESULTS: A total of 76,596 trauma patients visited the EDs during the study period; 12,980 patients were older than 15 and had TBI. There were 4,009 (30.9%) patients…
There are surprisingly few discussions of the link between wellbeing and alcohol, and few empirical studies to underpin them. Policymakers have therefore typically considered negative wellbeing impacts while ignoring positive ones, used gross overestimates of positive impacts via a naive 'consumer surplus' approach, or ignored wellbeing completely. We examine an alternative subjective wellbeing method for investigating alcohol and wellbeing, using fixed effects analyses of the associations between drinking and wellbeing within two different types of data. Study 1 examines wave-to-wave changes in life satisfaction and past-week alcohol consumption/alcohol problems (CAGE) from a representative cohort of people born in Britain in 1970, utilising responses at ages 30, 34 and 42 (a sample size of 29,145 observations from 10,107 individuals). Study 2…

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The authors have taken reasonable care in ensuring the accuracy of the information herein at the time of publication and are not responsible for any errors or omissions. Read more on our disclaimer.