Scenario Analyses Using Different Assumptions About Cardiac Benefit
Volume 68, 2007 > Issue 3: May 2007
The purpose of this study was to examine how definitions of abstainers in prospective studies of alcohol and mortality influence estimates of the extent of coronary heart disease (CHD) protection due to low-risk alcohol consumption.
Meta-analyses were conducted on 35 prospective studies categorized according to the presence of up to two postulated errors for men and women regarding the classification of abstainers.
Significant CHD protection was found for both men (odds ratio [OR] .79) and women (OR .89) only in studies committing both errors; it was found for women only in studies with occasional drinker error (OR .75) and for neither gender in the few available error-free studies.
Estimates of net alcohol-caused deaths in 2002 varied accordingly, from -1,405 to 2,479 for Australia and from 4,321 to 7,319 for Canada.
There is a need for CHD mortality studies that use lifelong abstinence as the reference point for estimating CHD protection. There may be gender differences in CHD protection. Separate estimates for the effects of low- and elevated-risk alcohol consumption on mortality should be made and communicated.
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