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January 28, 1974

Alcohol Benefit for The Geriatric Patient

Author Affiliations

University of Miami School of Medicine Miami, Fla

JAMA. 1974;227(4):439-440. doi:10.1001/jama.1974.03230170055023

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To the Editor.—  Readers of your recent editorial on a possible alcohol benefit to geriatric patients (226:779, 1973) or of the recent abstract on a possible protective effect of alcohol on a myocardial infarction (Circulation 48 [suppl 4]:94, 1973) may be interested in the following data from the Miami Sudden Cardiac Death Study.In a series of 118 consecutive cases of sudden cardiac death, retrospective interviews identified 40 patients as "substantial" or "heavy" alcohol users and 78 patients as drinking little or no alcoholic beverages regularly. In all 118, autopsies were performed under identical protocol by the Chief Medical Examiner for Dade County, Fla, or by deputies under his supervision. The two groups (users and nonusers) were then compared for the presence of chronic coronary artery stenosis (Table 1) and for the presence of acute heart vessel or muscle damage (Table 2).Although the numbers in each cell are not