General Health

Moderate wine drinkers have a lower risk to die from any cause (lower total  mortality risk) than those who abstain or drink heavily. This widely accepted association is known as the J-curve. This J-curve is attributable to the beneficial effect on cardiovascular health which compensates the negative effects of some cancers resulting in a lower risk to die from any possible cause. The relative risk of dying is lowest among light to moderate drinkers and increased among abstainers. However, the risk increases dramatically with each drink above moderation. Thus, while one or two glasses can be considered “good for your health”, drinking more than what guidelines suggest will not provide more benefits, only more harm.


If consumed in excess, alcoholic beverages increase the exposure to a wide range of risk factors whereby the risk rises with the amount of alcohol consumed. Thus, it is crucial to prevent abusive consumption. Alcohol abuse is associated with a range of long-term chronic diseases that reduce the quality of life. These include hypertension, cardiovascular problems, cirrhosis of the liver, alcohol dependence, various forms of cancer, alcohol-related brain damage and a range of other problems. Not only the amount of alcohol but also the drinking patterns are important. Findings from a meta analysis support results from other studies that binge drinking is detrimental to heart health. The authors concluded that it is best for drinkers to avoid binge drinking -- not only because of the possible heart effects, but also because of more immediate risks, like accidents and violence.


In addition to health issues resulting from excessive alcohol consumption, there are social consequences, both for the drinker and for others in the community. The consequences include harm to family members (including children), to friends and colleagues as well as to bystanders and strangers.


The above summary provides an overview of the topic, for more details and specific questions, please refer to the articles in the database.



OBJECTIVE: Several, but not all studies, have shown a dose-dependent inverse association with alcohol consumption and rheumatoid arthritis (RA), whereas smoking is an established risk factor for RA. We aimed to study the association between alcohol consumption and RA incidence and investigate a potential interaction between alcohol and smoking habits, regarding RA incidence. METHODS: We used a prospective cohort study, based on 41 068 participants with detailed assessment of alcohol intake, smoking and potential confounders at baseline in 1997. We ascertained a total of 577 incident cases of RA during a mean of 17.7 years of follow-up through linkage to nationwide and essentially complete databases. Multivariate Cox proportional hazards models were used to estimate HR with 95% CI. Interaction on…
Purpose This paper aims to evaluate the use of Mendelian randomization (MR) analyses for judging the effects of alcohol consumption on the risk of coronary heart disease (CHD).Design/methodology/approach This paper presents a review of methodology for MR and describes its early application to judging health effects of alcohol, current uses and a recommended approach of combining MR results with those from observational and experimental studies.Findings Early applications of MR to health effects of alcohol consumption were inadequate for providing unbiased results, but newer attempts using polygenic scores show promise. It is important to combine data from MR analyses with those from observational and experimental studies to obtain an unbiased and scientifically sound estimate of alcohol’s effects on health.Practical implications Giving…
Purpose The purpose of this paper is to review the conceptual and methodological challenges of a J-shaped association between alcohol consumption (AC), coronary heart disease (CHD) and all-cause mortality. In associated papers in this journal, Skovenborg et al., 2021 reviews the evidence for the J-shaped curve, and Ellison et al., 2021 examines the advantages and drawbacks of Mendelian randomization studies of the J-shaped curve.Design/methodology/approach A number of methodological problems are common in observational research in general, and some of the methodological problems suggested for the J-shaped alcohol-CHD-associations are discussed. The extent of the methodological problems in studies of the J-shaped curve is reviewed, and the possibility that the J-shaped curve is an artifact created by reverse causality and residual confounding…
Purpose The purpose of this paper is a review of updated evidence of a J-shaped association between alcohol consumption and the risk of coronary heart disease (CHD) and all-cause mortality in relation to public health issues to create a basis for sensible individual health deliberations.Design/methodology/approach A review of the evidence from the first observation of a J-shaped association between a moderate alcohol intake and CHD in 1926 to recent studies of the effect of healthy lifestyles (including moderate alcohol intake) on life expectancy free of cardiovascular disease (CVD), cancer and Type 2 diabetes. An update on the biological plausibility of the J-shaped association with focus on recent findings of the association of alcohol intake and blood lipid levels.Findings Plausible J-shaped…
Ethanol poisoning is endemic the world over. Morbidity and mortality depend on blood ethanol levels which in turn depend on the balance between its rates of absorption and clearance. Clearance of ethanol is mostly at a constant rate via enzymatic metabolism. We hypothesized that isocapnic hyperpnea (IH), previously shown to be effective in acceleration of clearance of vapour anesthetics and carbon monoxide, would also accelerate the clearance of ethanol. In this proof-of-concept pilot study, five healthy male subjects were brought to a mildly elevated blood ethanol concentration (~ 0.1%) and ethanol clearance monitored during normal ventilation and IH on different days. IH increased elimination rate of ethanol in proportion to blood levels, increasing the elimination rate more than three-fold. Increased…
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