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.