Alcoholic Beverage Preference, Morbidity and Mortality

  • T. E. Strandberg
Reference work entry


It is an interesting question whether moderate consumption of  alcohol beverages – especially red wine – could be recommended to reduce vascular disease burden in the society. A large body of studies exists showing an association between light to  moderate drinking (often of wine) and a reduced risk of vascular disease, particularly of coronary heart disease. There are also several plausible mechanisms explaining this association, for example relating to antiatherosclerotic and antithrombotic effects and improved vascular function. However, we are still dealing with observational findings, not with those from controlled studies, such as we have from statin and aspirin treatment. No randomized, controlled studies exist which would show a beneficial effect of wine drinking on meaningful vascular endpoints. On the other hand, clear health hazards are related to alcohol consumption in the society, and harms are generally related to the per caput average consumption. Therefore, increasing moderate drinking may also lead to increase in harms. Consequently, recommendations for use of particular alcohol beverages in vascular prevention are difficult to institute safely in practice. On the other hand, observational epidemiology can be used to assure that those individuals drinking moderately can safely continue their habit, and their moderation appears to be an indicator of good prognosis. But – are they better off because of their drinking or accompanying personal and lifestyle characteristics seems still, however, to be an open question.

Trinke mässig aber regelmässig (Old Steinhäger-slogan)


Binge Drinking Alcohol Beverage Moderate Alcohol Consumption Wine Consumption Moderate Consumption 
These keywords were added by machine and not by the authors. This process is experimental and the keywords may be updated as the learning algorithm improves.



Dr. Kari Poikolainen is gratefully acknowledged for expert advice during the preparation of the manuscript. Sources of support: The Academy of Finland, the Päivikki and Sakari Sohlberg Foundation, the Helsinki University Central Hospital, and the Finnish Foundation for Cardiovascular Research are gratefully acknowledged for financial support.


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  • T. E. Strandberg

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