Medical consequences of alcohol consumption--United States, 1992

Alcohol Clin Exp Res. 1996 Nov;20(8):1423-9. doi: 10.1111/j.1530-0277.1996.tb01144.x.


There is plenty of evidence in the alcohol literature that chronic excessive use of alcohol poses a threat to every organ system in the body. At the same time, there is a growing consensus that drinking in moderation protects against cardiovascular disease. This study was based on the most recent national household survey of the United States general population on drinking practices, alcohol use disorders, and their associated disabilities. The prevalence of major alcohol-related diseases were examined across different categories of drinking status. Excess morbidity caused by heavy intake of alcohol was also studied. Results were generally in agreement with the popular belief that light or moderate drinking is beneficial relative to abstention, particularly that moderate alcohol consumption confers a beneficial cardiovascular effect. Our findings also pointed toward the injurious effect of heavy alcohol use. However, results on benefits of drinking must be interpreted with caution.

MeSH terms

  • Adolescent
  • Adult
  • Aged
  • Alcoholic Beverages / adverse effects*
  • Alcoholism / complications*
  • Alcoholism / epidemiology
  • Alcoholism / prevention & control
  • Causality
  • Cross-Sectional Studies
  • Dose-Response Relationship, Drug
  • Female
  • Humans
  • Incidence
  • Longitudinal Studies
  • Male
  • Middle Aged
  • Risk Factors
  • Sampling Studies
  • United States / epidemiology