Coffee, alcohol and risk of coronary heart disease among Japanese men living in Hawaii

N Engl J Med. 1977 Aug 25;297(8):405-9. doi: 10.1056/NEJM197708252970801.


We examined the relation of coffee and alcohol consumption to the risk of coronary heart disease during a six-year period in a cohort of 7705 Japanese men living in Hawaii. The analysis was based on 294 new cases of coronary heart disease. There was a positive association between coffee intake and risk, but it became statistically insignificant when cigarette smoking was taken into account. There was a strong negative association between moderate alcohol consumption (up to 60 ml per day), mainly from beer, and the risk of nonfatal myocardial infarction and death from coronary heart disease. This association remained significant in multivariate analysis, taking into account smoking and other risk factors. The correlation of alcohol consumption with the level of alpha cholesterol (positive) and beta cholesterol (negative) may partly account for the observed negative association between alcohol and coronary heart disease.

MeSH terms

  • Aged
  • Alcohol Drinking*
  • Alcoholic Beverages
  • Angina Pectoris / epidemiology
  • Cholesterol / blood
  • Coffee / adverse effects*
  • Coronary Disease / epidemiology*
  • Coronary Disease / etiology
  • Hawaii
  • Humans
  • Japan / ethnology
  • Male
  • Middle Aged
  • Myocardial Infarction / epidemiology
  • Prospective Studies
  • Risk
  • Sex Factors
  • Smoking / complications


  • Coffee
  • Cholesterol