Low/moderate alcohol consumption seems to be protective against cardiovascular disease (CVD). This study aimed to investigate the association of wine/beer consumption with the 10-year CVD incidence.
During 2001–2002, 3042 CVD-free adults consented to participate in the ATTICA study; of them 2583 completed the 10-year follow-up (85% participation rate), but precise information about fatal/nonfatal CVD incidence (myocardial infarction, angina pectoris, cardiac ischemia, heart failure, chronic arrhythmias, and stroke) was available in 2020 participants (overall retention rate 66%). Alcohol/ethanol intake and the alcoholic beverages consumed were assessed; participants were categorized into three groups (no use; ≤1 glass/week; >1 glass/week).
Alcohol drinking was reported by 56% of the participants who did not develop a CVD event and 49% of those who had (p = 0.04); whereas ethanol intake was 14 ± 16 g among those who did not had an event vs. 21 ± 18 g among those who had a CVD event (p < 0.001). A strong inverse and similar association between low wine/beer intake (≤1 glass/week) and the risk of developing CVD was observed [HR: 0.40, 95% confidence interval (CI): 0.17–0.98; and HR: 0.43, 95% CI: 0.20–0.93, respectively], as compared to abstention. No significant association was found in participants exceeding drinking 1 glass/week compared with abstainers. Compared to <2 g/day ethanol intake, participants who reported 2–10, 10–20, and >20 g/day had CVD-risk HRs (95% CI) of 0.60 (0.40–0.98), 1.22 (0.60–1.14), and 1.81 (0.70–4.61), respectively.
This study revealed similar results of low wine/beer consumption against CVD incidence, mainly due to its implication on low-grade chronic inflammation.