Alcohol, Type of Alcohol, and All-Cause and Coronary Heart Disease Mortality


Address for correspondence: Morten Grønbæk, M.D., Ph.D., Dr. Med. Sci., Centre for Alcohol Research, National Institute of Public Health, Danish Epidemiology Science Centre, Svanemøllevej 25, DK-2100 København Ø, Denmark. Voice: 45-39207777; fax: 45-39273095;


Abstract: Many studies from a variety of countries have shown a U- or J-shaped relation between alcohol intake and mortality from all causes. It is now quite well documented from epidemiologic as well as clinical and experimental studies that the descending leg of the curve results from a decreased risk of cardiovascular disease among those with light-to-moderate alcohol consumption. The findings that wine drinkers are at a decreased risk of mortality from cardiovascular disease compared to non-wine drinkers suggest that substances present in wine are responsible for a beneficial effect on the outcome, in addition to that from a light intake of ethanol. Several potential confounding factors still remain to be excluded, however.