Physicians' Academy for Cardiovascular Education

Alcohol intake associated with higher risk of stroke subtypes and lower non-fatal CHD risk

Alcohol intake in relation to non-fatal and fatal coronary heart disease and stroke: EPIC-CVD case-cohort study

Literature - Ricci C, Wood A, Mulle D, et al. - BMJ 2018;361:k934

Introduction and Methods

Alcohol consumption has been associated with an elevated risk of stroke, while moderate alcohol consumption has been associated with a lower risk of coronary heart disease (CHD) [1,2]. Most information about the association of alcohol consumption with CVD is based on recent and not on long-term drinking habits. In this analysis of the EPIC-CVD study [3], the dose-response association of baseline and lifetime alcohol consumption with the risk of incident CHD and different stroke types was evaluated.

EPIC-CVD, a case-cohort study included in the EPIC (European Prospective Investigation into Cancer and nutrition) study [4], was designed to investigate the determinants of CVD [3]. Alcohol consumption was evaluated at baseline using validated dietary questionnaires, where participants reported the number of standard glasses of wine, beer, cider, sweet liquor, distilled spirits, or fortified wines they consumed daily or weekly during the 12 months before recruitment, as well as at the age of 20, 30, 40, and 50. The main endpoints were myocardial infarction, angina, hemorrhagic stroke, and ischemic stroke.

Main results


Alcohol intake was inversely associated with the risk of non-fatal CHD, and positively associated with the risk of ischemic and hemorrhagic stroke. The associations with CV outcomes were similar with average lifetime and baseline alcohol consumption.


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Find this article online at BMJ 2018