Large study challenges the theory that light alcohol consumption benefits heart health

In an observational analysis of UK Biobank participants, light to moderate drinkers had the lowest heart disease risk, followed by people who abstained from drinking; however, light to moderate drinkers tended to have healthier lifestyles than abstainers, which likely accounted for their better heart health. Genetic evidence in this same population suggested that all levels of alcohol intake are associated with increased cardiovascular risk. Notably, the risk of cardiovascular disease linked to light alcohol consumption was modest but rose exponentially with higher intake, even at intake levels currently endorsed as 'low risk.'