Heavy Episodic Alcohol Use Raises Risk of Heart Attack

Dr. Darryl P. Leong MBBS(Hons) MPH PhD FRACP FESC Hamilton General Hospital 237 Barton Street East CanadaMedicalResearch.com: Interview with:
Dr. Darryl P. Leong MBBS(Hons) MPH PhD FRACP FESC
Hamilton General Hospital
237 Barton Street East Canada

 

MedicalResearch: What are the main findings of the study?

Dr. Leong: The main findings of this study are that while low-moderate levels of alcohol use are associated with a reduced risk of myocardial infarction, this protective association was not seen in peoples of all ethnicities.

Secondly, heavy alcohol use (≥6 drinks) within a 24 hour period was associated with a significant increase in the immediate risk of myocardial infarction.

MedicalResearch: What should clinicians and patients take away from your report?

Dr. Leong: Key messages are that alcohol use should not necessarily be considered as protective against myocardial infarction in all ethnicities, and that heavy episodic alcohol use should be discouraged, as it is linked with an increased risk of myocardial infarction.

MedicalResearch: What recommendations do you have for future research as a result of this study?

Dr. Leong: Further research is needed to examine the relationship between the quantity and type of alcohol consumed, the social circumstances surrounding alcohol use, and the occurrence of cardiovascular disease. We also need a better understanding of the role of genetic variation in mediating any protective or harmful effects of alcohol consumption.
Citation:

Patterns of Alcohol Consumption and Myocardial Infarction Risk: Observations from 52 Countries in the INTERHEART Case-Control Study

Darryl P. Leong, Andrew Smyth, Koon K. Teo, Martin McKee, Sumathy Rangarajan, Prem Pais, Lisheng Liu, Sonia S. Anand, and Salim Yusuf, on behalf of the INTERHEART investigators

Circulation. 2014;CIRCULATIONAHA.113.007627published online before print June 13 2014, doi:10.1161/CIRCULATIONAHA.113.007627

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