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Regular alcohol intake decreased risk of coronary heart disease events but not total mortality in men

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Questions Is alcohol intake associated with risk of major coronary heart disease (CHD) events or mortality in men? Does the type of alcohol (beer, spirits, or wine) influence these associations?


Cohort study of men in the British Regional Heart Study with mean follow up of 16.8 years.


24 towns in England, Wales, and Scotland.


7272 men (mean age 50 y) were selected from registries of group general practices. Exclusion criteria were physical or psychological inability to participate, CHD, stroke, or incomplete questionnaire information on alcohol intake.

Assessment of risk factors

Men completed a questionnaire to assess their alcohol intake. For analysis, men were divided into the following quintiles based on their alcohol intake: non-drinkers, occasional (<1 unit/wk), light (1–15 units/wk), moderate (16–42 units/wk), and heavy (>6 units/d) (1 unit equals half a pint of beer, a single measure of …

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  • Source of funding: British Heart Foundation.

  • For correspondence: Dr S Goya Wannamethee, Department of Primary Care and Population Sciences, Royal Free Hospital School of Medicine, Rowland Hill Street, London NW3 2PF, UK. Fax +44 (0)171 794 1224.