Consistent Drinking Associated With Fewer Ischemic Events

Binge drinking, in contrast, appears to pose a risk

WEDNESDAY, Nov. 24 (HealthDay News) -- Patterns of alcohol consumption may be more strongly associated with risk for ischemic events than overall volume of alcohol consumption, according to research published Nov. 23 in BMJ.

Jean-Bernard Ruidavets, M.D., of the Toulouse University School of Medicine in France, and colleagues analyzed the incidence of hard coronary and angina events in 2,405 men from Belfast, Northern Ireland, and 7,373 men from France to investigate the effect of alcohol intake patterns on ischemic heart disease.

The researchers note that the Belfast group reported a lower mean daily alcohol consumption than the France group, at 22.1 g and 32.8 g, respectively, but the proportion of binge drinkers was higher in the Belfast group than in the France group, at 9.4 and 0.5 percent, respectively. The annual incidence of hard coronary events per 1,000 person-years was 5.63 in Belfast and 2.78 in France.

"Regular and moderate alcohol intake throughout the week, the typical pattern in middle-aged men in France, is associated with a low risk of ischemic heart disease, whereas the binge drinking pattern more prevalent in Belfast confers a higher risk," the authors write.

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