Does moderate drinking prevent heart disease? A meta-analysis

  • Research program:
  • Project status: Completed
  • Start date: May 2003
  • Expected end date: June 2008
  • Completion date: March 2009
  • Funded by: AERF
  • Lead organisation:

This project comprises 1) a meta-analysis of the published international research on the issue of drinking patterns and heart disease and 2) the application of these findings to the making of new estimates of alcohol's contribution to premature death in Australia. The status of alcohol as a possible benefit to health as well as contributor to harm has major implications for prevention and public education about alcohol. The research is a collaboration between the National Drug Research Institute, Perth and the Department of Social and Behavioural Science, University of California and the Centre for Addictions Research of British Columbia, University of Victoria, Canada. The project has the support of the Mental Health and Substance Dependence Department of the World Health Organization and several eminent international researchers who will serve as unpaid consultants. Towards the end of the project WHO have undertaken to hold an international symposium to reassess the purported health benefits associated with moderate drinking and to disseminate the findings.

Name & Contact Details Role Research Program Location
  • Chief Investigator: Kaye Fillmore,
  • Chief Investigator: William Kerr,
  • Co-investigator: Alan Bostrom,

Chikritzhs, T., N., Fillmore, K. and Stockwell, T., R. (2009). A healthy dose of scepticism: four good reasons to think again about protective effects of alcohol on Coronary Heart Disease. Drug and Alcohol Review, 28, (4), pp. 441-444. [RJ557] Download PDF Abstract

Chikritzhs, T., N., Fillmore, K. and Stockwell, T., R. (2008). The persistent, alternative argument to apparent cardio-protective effects of alcohol. Addiction, 103, pp. 855-56. [RJ604]

Fillmore, K., Chikritzhs, T., N. and Stockwell, T., R. (2008). The effects of magic in medical epidemiology. Addiction, 103, pp. 1905-09. [RJ626]

Fillmore, K., Kerr, W., Stockwell, T., R., Chikritzhs, T., N. and Bostrom, A. (2007). Has alcohol been proven to be protective against coronary heart disease? Response to commentaries. Addiction Research & Theory, 15, (1), pp. 35-46. DOI: 10.1080/16066350701251965 [RJ521] View web page

Fillmore, K., Stockwell, T., R., Chikritzhs, T., N., Bostrom, A. and Kerr, W. (2007). A delicate matter: Scientific agreement and the “protective effect” of alcohol for disease including coronary heart disease. American Journal of Medicine. [RJ555] View web page

Fillmore, K., Stockwell, T., R., Chikritzhs, T., N., Kerr, T. and Bostrom, A. (2007). Moderate alcohol use and reduced mortality risk: Systematic error in prospective studies and new hypotheses. Annals of Epidemiology, 17, pp. S16-23. [RJ545]

Stockwell, T., R., Chikritzhs, T., N., Fillmore, K., Kerr, W., Rehm, J. and Taylor, B. (2007). Alcohol-caused mortality in Australia and Canada: scenario analyses using different assumptions about cardiac benefit. Journal of Studies on Alcohol, 68, (3), pp. 345-352. [RJ542]

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] Abstract

Fillmore, K., Stockwell, T., R., Kerr, W., Chikritzhs, T., N. and Bostrom, A. (2006). Systematic error in prospective studies of alcohol use and mortality risk: a meta-analysis of prospective mortality studies and re-estimation of the impact of alcohol on premature mortality in Australia. NDRI. [T171]