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Friday, March 1, 2013
For Debate Alcohol—a universal preventive agent? A critical analysis
In observational studies, moderate drinking is associated with a reduced risk of more than twenty different diseases and health problems. However, it would be premature to conclude that there is a causal relationship.
This paper critically reviews the evidence for such associations.
It was found that reasons for questioning the causal association of moderate drinking and a reduced health risk are: the lack of dose-response relationships; the characteristics and lifestyles of today's abstainers and moderate drinkers; the lack of plausible biological mechanisms; the problems in the classification of drinking groups, and; the general limitations of observational studies.
The evidence for the harmful effects of alcohol is undoubtedly stronger than the evidence for beneficial effects.