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Observational studies have shown that individuals who consume alcohol
in light to moderate amounts have a lower risk of acute myocardial infarction
(MI) compared with individuals who abstain from alcohol or who are heavy drinkers.
Little is known, however, about the relationship between alcohol consumption
and mortality after acute MI or the development of heart failure independent
of MI. In a prospective cohort study of early survivors of acute MI, Mukamal
and colleaguesArticle found that compared with no alcohol intake, moderate alcohol
consumption in the year before MI was associated with reduced all-cause and
cardiovascular mortality after MI. Abramson and colleaguesArticle , in a prospective
study of community-based persons aged 65 years and older, found that low to
moderate alcohol consumption in the month prior to baseline was associated
with a lower risk of heart failure compared with no alcohol intake. In an
editorial, KlatskyArticle discusses factors to consider when advising patients with
heart disease about alcohol intake.
This Week in JAMA . JAMA. 2001;285(15):1927. doi:10.1001/jama.285.15.1927
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