Programme no. 547-OP
Public Health
Health benefits of moderate alcohol consumption - a myth?
Jonas Sjögreen*1
1Swedish society of medicin,Stockholm,Sweden
* = Presenting author
Objectives: To present and discuss the report and what impact it may have on the daily work in general practice
Background: In the the daily work on disease prevention, many clinicians hesitate when it comes to alcohol. Among other reasons this is due to the ambivalence towards alchol in the society. Many people find that the taste and effects of alcohol are positive and at the same time alcohol consumtion is linked to shame, guilt and tabu. There have been conflicting statements from the research on the health benefits or harms of drinking alcohol. Time after time evidence suggesting that low doses of alcohol is associated to a reduced risc of cardiovascular desease. To illuminate where we stand today and the strength of the scientific evidence is therefore valuable. The Swedish Medical Society, SLS, together with the temperance order, IOGT-NTO, has initiated the a project, alcohol and society, with the aim to present an annual research report on alcohol. The main theme each year is suggested jointly by the Medical Society, represented by The Swedish College of General Practice, IOGT-NTO and an international research team. The first report in 2013 focused on youth and alcohol. The actual report from december 2014 report summarizes and and examines the scientific evidence regarding the health effects of ”moderate” (i.e, low-dose) alcohol consumtion. The report is written by an international research team including leading alcohol researchers from the US, Canada, Australia and Sweden.
Results: The existing evidence finding cardiovascular beefits frpm low-dose alcohol consumtion is weak and emerging evidence suggests that these protective effects are spurious (i.e., do not exist, or are harmful). The wiew that alcohol confers health benefits is therefor even less of valid counter-argument against the adoption of effective alcohol control policies /e.g., those wich reduce alcohol’s availability and affordability).
Material/Methods: The scientific report ”Evidence about health effects of ”moderate” alcohol consumtion”: reasons for scepticism and public health implications”
Conclusion: There is no scientific evidence to recommend alcohol as a mean to promote health.
Points for discussion: The general relevans of the report. What impact it may have on daily work in general practice. Does this change the preventive work in general paractice and in the society?