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Moderate consumption of wine, and to a lesser extent, perhaps beer, appears to be associated with reduced vascular risk, according to a meta-analysis of 26 studies on the relationship between wine or beer consumption and vascular risk conducted by researchers reporting in this week’s issue of Circulation (Circulation. 2002;105:2836–2844). The analysis was led by Augusto Di Castelnuovo, MS, and colleagues at the Department of Vascular Medicine and Pharmacology at the Istituto de recherché Framacologiche Mario Negri, Consorzio Mario Negri Sud, Santa Maria Imbaro, Italy, and at the Center for High Technology Research and Education in Biomedical Sciences at Catholic University in Campobasso, Italy.
In 13 studies involving 209 418 people, the relative risk of vascular disease associated with the intake of wine was 0.68, relative to nondrinkers. In 10 studies, the evidence of a J-shaped relationship was clear, indicating that the vascular risk varied with different amounts of wine intake. The researchers reported that the statistically significant inverse relationship between wine intake and vascular risk existed with a daily intake of ≤150 mL of wine. In 15 studies involving 208 036 people, the relative risk of vascular disease associated with moderate beer consumption was 0.78, relative to nondrinkers. However, it was not possible to determine a meaningful relationship between amounts of beer consumed and vascular risk, the researchers …