Is self-reported moderate drinking in the cardiovascular benefit range associated with alcoholic behavior? a population based study

Khawaja Afzal Ammar, Saquib Samee, Robert Colligan, Robert Morse, Osman Faheem, Molly Shapiro, Jan Kors, Richard J. Rodeheffer

Research output: Contribution to journalArticle

4 Scopus citations


This article aims at identifying a threshold number of drinks per day beyond which there is a high risk of developing alcoholic behavior that would enable physicians to more confidently support the use of alcohol for cardiovascular risk prevention. In a randomly selected, population-based sample of 2,042 adults 45 years or older, we graded alcohol drinking behavior using the Self-Administered Alcoholism Screening Test, quantified alcohol amount by questionnaire, and assessed the prevalence of cardiovascular disease (coronary, peripheral, or cerebrovascular disease) by medical record review. Although optimal alcohol use (≤2 drinks/day) was associated with reduced odds of cardiovascular disease, 43% of alcoholics and 82% of problem drinkers reported alcohol use in the optimal range as well. The association of alcohol use in the optimal range with alcohol-related behavioral problems supports the reluctance in physicians from recommending alcohol use for cardiovascular benefit, not withstanding the underreporting of alcohol use by alcoholics.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)243-249
Number of pages7
JournalJournal of Addictive Diseases
Issue number3
StatePublished - Jul 1 2009



  • Alcohol
  • Alcoholism
  • Coronary heart disease
  • Risk factor

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Medicine (miscellaneous)
  • Clinical Psychology
  • Psychiatry and Mental health

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