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MEDICC Review

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Abstract

GONZALEZ, Ricardo A.. Alcohol: friend or foe?. MEDICC rev. [online]. 2011, vol.13, n.4, pp. 50-51. ISSN 1555-7960.  http://dx.doi.org/10.1590/S1555-79602011000400011.

Popular belief has it that alcohol, particularly red wine, protects against atherosclerosis and associated cardio- and cerebrovascular conditions. That presumption motivates this paper, which describes the mechanisms underlying the J-shaped risk curve for alcohol use, with benefits for vascular disease risk at low consumption levels and harmful effects-both directly on the user and indirectly on the bystander-at higher levels. The importance of further exploring alcohol use in patients with cardiovascular risk factors and of intervening to modify non-social use of alcohol to prevent serious adverse health consequences is also addressed.

Keywords : Alcohol-related disorders; burden of illness; atherosclerosis; atherogenesis; vascular disease; risk factors; Cuba.

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