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Low to moderate amounts of alcohol reduce cardiovascular risk, while larger quantities raise it

September 14, 2017

???Our study confirmed the so-called ???J shape curve??: low to moderate amounts of alcohol reduce cardiovascular risk, while larger quantities raise it,??? states Dr. Giovanni de Gaetano, corresponding author of the article published in the Journal of Thrombosis and Haemostasis. ???We did not observe statistically significant differences between men and women, although a small advantage of women over men at the lowest amount of alcohol could be seen.???

This study is the first to compare men and women in relation to alcohol effectiveness in lowering cardiovascular risk. The article states that the overall moderate effect of wine may be favorable in postmenopausal women, in whom the protective effect on cardiovascular events might overcome the risk of breast cancer. Further evidence is needed to assess this important issue.

blackwellpublishing/jth

Another study included in the review found that follow-up care by hospital-based specialists was not significantly different from that offered by general practitioners in terms of improvements in the patient??s quality of life or speed in detecting new cancers. However, patients were more likely to be satisfied with care by their general practitioner.

Despite studies indicating that routine physical exams are effective follow-up care, the National Cancer Institute??s treatment recommendations to health professionals notes that ???the appropriateness of screening tests after the completion of primary treatment [for breast cancer] remains controversial.???

Although evidence favoring less intensive follow-up care began to appear in the late 1990s, ???women still seemed to prefer a frequent schedule of tests in order to be reassured about their health status,??? Fossati says.

???It would be worthwhile to evaluate whether a good strategy of sharing information between the doctor and the patient would help women to be equally reassured when a less intensive follow-up is offered,??? he adds.

Fossati and colleagues acknowledge that the two main studies in their analysis were begun in the late 1980s, which may influence the review??s findings.

???One must consider that now, more than a decade later, knowledge, technology and treatment for breast cancer have improved, which may justify new randomized controlled trials,??? Fossati says.

cochrane