Background: Many epidemiological studies have evaluated whether different alcoholic beverages protect against cardiovascular disease. We performed a meta-analysis of 26 studies on the relationship between wine or beer consumption and vascular risk. Methods and Results- General variance-based method and fitting models were applied to pooled data derived from 26 studies that gave a quantitative estimation of the vascular risk associated with either beverage consumption. From 13 studies involving 209 418 persons, the relative risk of vascular disease associated with wine intake was 0.68 (95% confidence interval, 0.59 to 0.77) relative to nondrinkers. There was strong evidence from 10 studies involving 176 042 persons to support a J-shaped relationship between different amounts of wine intake and vascular risk. A statistically significant inverse association was found up to a daily intake of 150 mL of wine. The overall relative risk of moderate beer consumption, which was measured in 15 studies involving 208 036 persons, was 0.78 (95% confidence interval, 0.70 to 0.86). However, no significant relationship between different amounts of beer intake and vascular risk was found after meta-analyzing 7 studies involving 136 382 persons.
Conclusions: These findings show evidence of a significant inverse association between light-to-moderate wine consumption and vascular risk. A similar, although smaller association was also apparent in beer consumption studies. The latter finding, however, is difficult to interpret because no meaningful relationship could be found between different amounts of beer intake and vascular risk.