WASHINGTON, Jan. 8, 2003 – Light to moderate consumption of beverage alcohol – liquor, beer or wine – may reduce the risk of coronary heart disease among men by approximately 30 percent, according to a study published in tomorrow’s New England Journal of Medicine. According to the study, moderate alcohol consumption was consistently associated with a lower risk of coronary heart disease. The study found that, “No single type of beverage conferred additional benefit, nor did consumption with meals…The drinking pattern had an important effect, with the lowest relative risks among men who consumed alcohol three or more days per week, even if the amount consumed per drinking day was small to moderate.” The study, conducted by Kenneth J. Mukamal, M.D. and colleagues from Harvard University, examined the association of alcohol consumption with the risk of heart attacks among 38,077 male health professionals 40 to 75 years of age. The participants were assessed every four years over a 12 year period about their consumption of liquor, beer, red wine and white wine. This study looked at how different types of beverage alcohol, different drinking patterns and drinking with or without meals impacted the risk of coronary heart disease. Although there is a widespread misperception that the potential benefit is only associated with moderate red wine consumption, the scientific literature reports that the potential benefit is associated with the ethanol (alcohol) in all beverage alcohol products – liquor, beer or wine – as confirmed in this recent study. There are also a number of other dietary and lifestyle choices associated with reducing the risk of heart disease. America’s distillers do not recommend that consumers drink beverage alcohol for health reasons. For those adults who choose to drink, they should do so responsibly at all times. Alcohol abuse can cause serious health and other problems. There is also a body of scientific literature regarding the reported health risks of alcohol consumption generally. As always, potential risks and benefits of beverage alcohol consumption, as well as other health, diet and lifestyle choices, should be discussed with a physician. For a complete copy of the study, contact the Distilled Spirits Council at (202) 682-8840. www.distilledspirits.org