HealthDay News — All-cause and cardiovascular disease (CVD) mortality are reduced for U.S. adults with light and moderate alcohol intake, according to a study published in the August 22 issue of the Journal of the American College of Cardiology.

Bo Xi, MD, from the School of Public Health at Shandong University in Jinan, China, and colleagues obtained data by linking 13 waves of the National Health Interview Surveys to the National Death Index records. Data were included for 333,247 participants aged 18 years and older.

The researchers found that 34,754 participants died of all causes after a median follow-up of 8.2 years. Those who were light or moderate alcohol consumers, compared with lifestyle abstainers, had a reduced risk of all-cause mortality (hazard ratios, 0.79 and 0.78 for light and moderate drinkers, respectively) and CVD mortality (hazard ratios, 0.74 and 0.71, respectively). For adults with heavy alcohol consumption, mortality was increased significantly for all causes and cancer (hazard ratios, 1.11 and 1.27, respectively). Increased risk of mortality for all causes and cancer was seen in association with binge drinking 1 or more days/week (hazard ratios, 1.13 and 1.22, respectively). 

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“Light and moderate alcohol intake might have a protective effect on all-cause and CVD-specific mortality in U.S. adults,” the authors write. “Heavy or binge drinking was associated with increased risk of all-cause and cancer-specific mortality.”

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