The risk of acute myocardial infarction after stopping drinking.Prev Med. 2005 Jun; 40(6):725-8.PM
Subjects at high risk of alcohol-related diseases may benefit from alcohol cessation. However, drinkers have a lower risk of acute myocardial infarction (AMI) than abstainers, and there is very scanty information on how the risk changes after stopping drinking.
Between 1995 and 1999, we administered a structured questionnaire to 507 cases (378 men, 129 women) with a first episode of nonfatal AMI and 478 control patients (297 men, 181 women) admitted to the same network of hospitals in the greater Milan area for acute conditions.
Compared to lifelong abstainers, the odds ratio (OR) adjusted for age, sex, and several AMI risk factors was 0.56 (95% confidence interval [CI] 0.41-0.84) for current and 0.65 (95% CI 0.37-1.15) for former drinkers (48 cases and 44 controls). The OR was 2.10 (0.40-11.1) for having stopped since 1 year, 0.64 (95% CI 0.19-2.16) for 2-4 years, 0.46 (95% CI 0.18-1.20) for 5-14 years, and 0.78 (95% CI 0.27-2.27) for > or = 15 years.
Although our data are too limited to draw any definite conclusion, they suggest that the protection of alcohol drinking against AMI may persist, at least in part, for several years after stopping.