Wine Drinking and Risks of Cardiovascular Complications After Recent Acute Myocardial Infarction
Background— Scientific data on the clinical impact of moderate alcohol consumption after a recent acute myocardial infarction (AMI) are limited, and the specific effect of wine ethanol has not been studied.
Methods and Results— In survivors of a recent AMI, we analyzed the association between ethanol intake and the risk of recurrence. The patients were classified according to the amount of ethanol that they consumed regularly during follow-up. Major prognostic factors, including the severity of the prior AMI and drug treatment, were recorded and included in the analyses. Only patients with at least 2 reliable assessments of drinking (and dietary) habits were included (n=437). The average ethanol intake was 7.6% of the total energy intake, wherein wine ethanol represented 92% of the total. Among these patients, 104 cardiovascular complications occurred during a mean follow-up period of 4 years. In comparison with abstainers, the adjusted risk of complications was reduced by 59% (95% confidence interval: 17 to 80) in patients whose average ethanol intake was 7.7% of the total energy intake (about 2 drinks/day), and by 52% (95% confidence interval: 4 to 76) in those whose average ethanol intake was of 16% of energy (about 4 drinks/day).
Conclusion— Whereas moderate wine drinking was associated with a significant reduction in the risk of complications in this homogenous population of coronary heart disease patients, further studies are required to confirm the data, define the clinical and biological profile of the patients who would most benefit from wine drinking after recent AMI, and examine whether the relations found are due to ethanol or other wine ingredients.
Received April 8, 2002; revision received June 26, 2002; accepted June 26, 2002.