Numerous studies have reported that CHD rates are about 30% lower in moderate alcohol drinkers than in comparable people who drink no alcohol.34 Although non-drinkers differ in many ways from drinkers, analyses suggest that consumption of moderate amounts of alcohol probably has a protective effect against CHD. Alcohol is known to raise HDL cholesterol and to reduce fibrinogen, both of which would be expected to reduce CHD risk.
Few studies have reported on alcohol intake in Western vegetarians, but the data available suggest that their alcohol intake is relatively low.52 In theory, this might cause a slight increase in risk of CHD relative to non-vegetarians. However, there is no evidence that alcohol reduces CHD risk among vegetarians; in the Oxford Vegetarian Study, CHD risk did not decrease with increasing alcohol intake,53 while in the studies of Seventh-Day Adventists, alcohol intake is very low and no data on alcohol and CHD risk have been published.
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