AHA comment on BMJ study regarding moderate alcohol consumption

22 March 2017: Responding to the study published in the British Medical Journal suggesting that moderate alcohol consumption may lower the risk of some heart conditions, Professor Sir Ian Gilmore, chair of the AHA, said:

“As the authors of the study say, it is not possible to draw firm conclusions from the study about cause and effect between moderate alcohol consumption and heart health.

“What is clear, however, is the wide-ranging evidence base considered by the UK’s chief medical officers when revising the alcohol guidelines last year.

“After reviewing the evidence, the chief medical officers were clear that the benefits of drinking alcohol have been overstated in the past, with any protective effect on heart health applying to a much smaller group than previously thought: women over 55 who drink at very low levels (around 1 unit of alcohol a day). As the chief medical officers have made clear, there is no reason anyone should be advised to start drinking alcohol on health grounds.

“Alcohol is linked with over 60 illnesses, including heart disease and stroke. The chief medical officers advise that, to keep risks from drinking alcohol at a low level, you are safest not to regularly drink more than 14 units a week, spread across at least 3 days.”