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Policy brief from the World Heart Federation

Disproving the myths of alcohol and cardiovascular health

In a new policy brief, the World Heart Federation (WHF) is challenging the widespread notion that drinking moderate amounts of alcohol can decrease the risk of heart disease, and calling for urgent and decisive action to tackle the unprecedented rise in alcohol-related death and disability worldwide.

The brief displays the evidence which is clear that any level of alcohol consumption can lead to loss of healthy life. Studies have shown that even small amounts of alcohol can increase a person’s risk of cardiovascular disease. Studies that claim otherwise are largely based on purely observational research, WHF shows in the brief. 

The brief also presents recommendations for both individuals and policymakers to help counter the deadly impact of alcohol globally. Cost-effective interventions to reduce alcohol consumption include strengthening restrictions on alcohol availability, enforcing bans on alcohol advertising, and facilitating access to screening and treatment, all part of the WHO SAFER initiative to reduce alcohol-related harm.