Alcohol consumption and coronary heart disease: a causal and protective factor.Semin Vasc Med. 2002 Aug; 2(3):253-6.SV
Although heavy alcohol consumption is one of the leading causes of preventable deaths, light to moderate consumption of alcohol is associated with a reduced risk of coronary heart disease and total mortality. These benefits have been found in both men and women who consume as little as one to six alcoholic beverages per week regardless of whether the source is wine, beer, or liquor. Further, apparent benefits include a reduced risk for the development of peripheral arterial disease, ischemic stroke, sudden cardiac death, and angina. Even small amounts of alcohol have been associated with increases in blood pressure and increased risks of some cancers, especially breast. The difference between consuming light to moderate and heavy amounts of alcohol may mean the difference between preventing and causing premature death for all causes, especially coronary heart disease.