Alcohol—a universal preventive agent? A critical analysis
Article first published online: 1 MAR 2013
© 2013 The Author, Addiction © 2013 Society for the Study of Addiction
Volume 108, Issue 12, pages 2051–2057, December 2013
How to Cite
Fekjær, H. O. (2013), Alcohol—a universal preventive agent? A critical analysis. Addiction, 108: 2051–2057. doi: 10.1111/add.12104
- Issue published online: 15 NOV 2013
- Article first published online: 1 MAR 2013
- Accepted manuscript online: 8 JAN 2013 12:00AM EST
- Manuscript Accepted: 20 DEC 2012
- Manuscript Revised: 12 NOV 2012
- Manuscript Received: 13 SEP 2012
In observational studies, moderate drinking is associated with a reduced risk of more than twenty different diseases and health problems. However, it would be premature to conclude that there is a causal relationship.
This paper critically reviews the evidence for such associations.
It was found that reasons for questioning the causal association of moderate drinking and a reduced health risk are: the lack of dose-response relationships; the characteristics and lifestyles of today's abstainers and moderate drinkers; the lack of plausible biological mechanisms; the problems in the classification of drinking groups, and; the general limitations of observational studies.
The evidence for the harmful effects of alcohol is undoubtedly stronger than the evidence for beneficial effects.