[ExI] Alcohol meta-analysis

Max More max at maxmore.com
Tue Jun 9 05:27:05 UTC 2009

Thanks for posting that, Emlyn. These researchers 
(who seem to have several meta-analyses of 
alcohol) did find some protective effect of 
alcohol for coronary heart disease -- but not for anything else.

Now I'll have to try to figure out how many normal drinks 72g of ethanol is...

A meta-analysis of alcohol consumption and the risk of 15 diseases.

Vecchia C.

Dipartimento di Statistica, Università di Milano-Bicocca, Milan, Italy.

BACKGROUND: To compare the strength of evidence 
provided by the epidemiological literature on the 
association between alcohol consumption and the 
risk of 14 major alcohol-related neoplasms and 
non-neoplastic diseases, plus injuries. METHODS: 
A search of the epidemiological literature from 
1966 to 1998 was performed by several 
bibliographic databases. Meta-regression models 
were fitted considering fixed and random effect 
models and linear and nonlinear effects of 
alcohol intake. The effects of some 
characteristics of the studies, including an 
index of their quality, were considered. RESULTS: 
Of the 561 initially reviewed studies, 156 were 
selected for meta-analysis because of their a 
priori defined higher quality, including a total 
of 116,702 subjects. Strong trends in risk were 
observed for cancers of the oral cavity, 
esophagus and larynx, hypertension, liver 
cirrhosis, chronic pancreatitis, and injuries and 
violence. Less strong direct relations were 
observed for cancers of the colon, rectum, liver, 
and breast. For all these conditions, significant 
increased risks were also found for ethanol 
intake of 25 g per day. Threshold values were 
observed for ischemic and hemorrhagic strokes. 
For coronary heart disease, a J-shaped relation 
was observed with a minimum relative risk of 0.80 
at 20 g/day, a significant protective effect up 
to 72 g/day, and a significant increased risk at 
89 g/day. No clear relation was observed for 
gastroduodenal ulcer. CONCLUSIONS: This 
meta-analysis shows no evidence of a threshold 
effect for both neoplasms and several 
non-neoplastic diseases. J-shaped relations were 
observed only for coronary heart disease.

Max More, Ph.D.
Strategic Philosopher
Extropy Institute Founder
max at maxmore.com

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