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June 23/30, 2004

Modifiable Behavioral Factors as Causes of Death—Reply

Author Affiliations

Letters Section Editor: Stephen J. Lurie, MD, PhD, Senior Editor.

JAMA. 2004;291(24):2941. doi:10.1001/jama.291.24.2942-c

In Reply: Dr Anstadt raises the issue of beneficial effects of low-level alcohol consumption. While we agree that analysis of a U-shaped dose-response impact of alcohol on mortality would be of interest, such analysis could be more difficult for nutrition where a minimal dose is necessary for health. Thus, we chose to assess the adverse consequences of alcohol abuse rather than the potential harms and benefits associated with any alcohol use. This is similar to recommendations of the World Health Association to monitor harms from medium- and high-risk drinking.1 Moreover, it is consistent with alcohol policy goals in the United States, which focus on reducing excessive drinking among adults who consume alcohol.2,3

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