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.

Additional Metadata
Keywords Alcohol, Alcoholism, Coronary heart disease, Risk factor
Persistent URL dx.doi.org/10.1080/10550880903014205, hdl.handle.net/1765/25200
Citation
Ammar, K.A, Samee, S, Colligan, R, Morse, R, Faheem, O, Shapiro, M, … Rodeheffer, R.J. (2009). Is self-reported moderate drinking in the cardiovascular benefit range associated with alcoholic behavior? a population based study. Journal of Addictive Diseases, 28(3), 243–249. doi:10.1080/10550880903014205