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Editor's Correspondence
October 27, 2003

Anti-inflammatory Effects of Alcohol

Arch Intern Med. 2003;163(19):2393. doi:10.1001/archinte.163.19.2393-a

Jackson and colleagues1 found an inverse association between light to moderate alcohol intake and risks of cardiovascular mortality in men with a history of stroke. However, among the plausible explanations of this beneficial action, the anti-inflammatory effects of alcohol were not clearly mentioned.

There is a growing body of evidence that moderate alcohol consumption decreases the levels of C-reactive protein2 and that the baseline concentration of such a marker of inflammation predicts the risk of future cardiovascular events.3,4 Furthermore, increased levels of C-reactive protein seem to be associated with a worse outcome in patients with ischemic stroke.5 Thus, the protective effects of alcohol in men with a history of stroke could also be related to its anti-inflammatory activity.