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May 10, 1995

Should Physicians Counsel Patients to Drink Alcohol?-Reply

Author Affiliations

Bassett Health Research Institute Cooperstown, NY

JAMA. 1995;273(18):1415-1416. doi:10.1001/jama.1995.03520420027015

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In Reply.  —Dr Gordis and colleagues raise several important issues in the area of alcohol consumption by population subgroups, especially women and the elderly. The optimal level of alcohol consumption may differ from one group to the next, and physicians should certainly understand the important differences in alcohol metabolism between the young and the elderly and between men and women. However, this is precisely the point that we wished to emphasize, namely, that each individual may be different in terms of whether and how much alcohol to consume (up to two drinks per day). Rather than provide generalized statements to the public, we should encourage physicians to get involved in the counseling of individuals early in their adult lives to assure that the right lifestyles get matched with the right individuals.My coinvestigators and I certainly concur that pregnant women should not consume alcohol and said so in the Editorial.

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