Publication Detail

Fillmore, K., Stockwell, T., R., Kerr, W., Chikritzhs, T., N. and Bostrom, A. (2006). Moderate alcohol use and reduced mortality risk: systematic error in prospective studies. Addiction Research & Theory, 14, (2), pp. 101-132. [RJ491]

The majority of prospective studies on alcohol use and mortality risk indicates that

abstainers are at increased risk of mortality from both all causes and coronary heart

disease (CHD). This meta-analysis of 54 published studies tested the extent to which a

systematic misclassification error was committed by including as ‘abstainers’ many people

who had reduced or stopped drinking, a phenomenon associated with ageing and

ill health. The studies judged to be error free found no significant all-cause or cardiac

protection, suggesting that the cardiac protection afforded by alcohol may have been

over-estimated. Estimates of mortality from heavier drinking may also be higher than

previously estimated.

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