Overview of epidemiological studies on wine, health and mortality

Drugs Exp Clin Res. 2003;29(5-6):173-9.


Numerous epidemiological studies have observed that moderate intake of alcohol including wine is associated with a lower risk of cardiovascular disease (CVD). However, according to several authors, moderate consumption of wine is more beneficial than that of beer or spirits. Some studies have shown that moderate consumption of wine can lower mortality from CVD and other causes. The link between drinking wine and total mortality risk (all causes combined) has been studied. The results of various prospective population studies show that intake of beer and spirits from abstention to light to moderate daily intake did not influence mortality, while wine seems to have a beneficial effect on all causes of mortality. Other studies have reached the same conclusion. In general, several authors have reported that in subjects consuming wine in moderation the risk of mortality from all causes is 20-30% lower than in abstainers. Grape wine appears to be the main alcoholic beverage that contains antioxidant phenolic substances known to inhibit oxidation of low-density lipoprotein and affect hemostasis and carcinogenesis. In conclusion, there are differences in the effects of wine, beer and spirits on health. These differences may not be significant in coronary heart disease. Only moderate wine consumption appears to have a beneficial effect on several types of cancer and on total mortality.

Publication types

  • Review

MeSH terms

  • Antioxidants / pharmacology
  • Clinical Trials as Topic
  • Coronary Disease / mortality
  • Coronary Disease / prevention & control*
  • Humans
  • Neoplasms / mortality
  • Neoplasms / prevention & control*
  • Phenols / pharmacology
  • Stroke / mortality
  • Stroke / prevention & control*
  • Wine*


  • Antioxidants
  • Phenols