Josep María Nicolás, MD; Joaquim Fernández-Solà, MD; Ramon Estruch, MD; Joan Carles Paré, MD; Emilio Sacanella, MD; Alvaro Urbano-Márquez, MD; Emanuel Rubin, MD
Grant Support: By grants from Fondo de Investigaciones Sanitarias (FIS 98/0330 and 99/0115) and by Generalitat de Catalunya (CUIR 1999/SGR-279).
Requests for Single Reprints: Emanuel Rubin, MD, Department of Pathology, Anatomy, and Cell Biology, Jefferson Medical College, 1020 Locust Street, Suite 279, Philadelphia, PA 19107.
Current Author Addresses: Drs. Nicolás, Fernández-Solà, Estruch, Paré, Sacanella, and Urbano-Márquez: Hospital Clinic, Villarroel, 170, Barcelona, Spain 08036.
Dr. Rubin: Department of Pathology, Anatomy, and Cell Biology, Jefferson Medical College, 1020 Locust Street, Suite 279, Philadelphia, PA 19107.
Author Contributions: Conception and design: J.M. Nicolás, J. Fernández-Solà, A. Urbano-Márquez, E. Rubin.
Analysis and interpretation of the data: J.M. Nicolás, J. Fernández-Solà, J.C. Paré, E. Rubin.
Drafting of the article: J.M. Nicolás, J. Fernández-Solà, E. Rubin.
Critical revision of the article for important intellectual content: D. Estruch, E. Rubin.
Final approval of the article: A. Urbano-Márquez, E. Rubin.
Provision of study materials or patients: J. Fernández-Solà, D. Estruch, E. Sacanella.
Statistical expertise: J.M. Nicolás.
Obtaining of funding: J.M. Nicolás, J. Fernández-Solà.
Administrative, technical, or logistic support: J.M. Nicolás, A. Urbano-Márquez.
Collection and assembly of data: J. Fernández-Solà, D. Estruch, J.C. Paré, E. Sacanella.
Cardiomyopathy is a potentially fatal complication of alcohol abuse. In alcoholic persons who develop cardiac dysfunction, abstinence is thought to be essential to halt further deterioration of cardiac contractility. Some evidence indicates that reducing alcohol intake may also be beneficial.
To evaluate the effect of moderate “controlled” drinking on cardiac function in patients with alcoholic cardiomyopathy.
4-year prospective cohort study.
A university hospital in Barcelona, Spain.
55 alcoholic men with cardiomyopathy who had been drinking a minimum of 100 g of ethanol per day for at least 10 years.
Evaluation of ethanol intake and nutrition, clinical assessment of cardiac status, and sequential echocardiography and radionuclide cardiac angiography.
After the first year of evaluation, all patients with cardiomyopathy who abstained from alcoholic beverages demonstrated significant improvement in left ventricular function (average increase in left ventricular ejection fraction, 0.131 [95% CI, 0.069 to 0.193]). Patients who drank 20 to 60 g of ethanol per day showed a comparable mean improvement of 0.125 (CI, 0.082 to 0.168). In contrast, left ventricular ejection fraction deteriorated further in most patients who continued to abuse alcohol (>80 g/d). After 4 years, left ventricular ejection fraction had continued to improve in both abstinent patients and those who controlled their drinking. Ten patients who had continued to consume more than 80 g of ethanol per day died during the study.
In patients with alcoholic cardiomyopathy, both abstinence and controlled drinking of up to 60 g of ethanol per day (four standard drinks) were comparably effective in promoting improvement in cardiac function.
Nicolás JM, Fernández-Solà J, Estruch R, et al. The Effect of Controlled Drinking in Alcoholic Cardiomyopathy. Ann Intern Med. 2002;136:192–200. doi: https://doi.org/10.7326/0003-4819-136-3-200202050-00007
Download citation file:
Published: Ann Intern Med. 2002;136(3):192-200.
Cardiology, Tobacco, Alcohol, and Other Substance Abuse.
Results provided by:
Copyright © 2019 American College of Physicians. All Rights Reserved.
Print ISSN: 0003-4819 | Online ISSN: 1539-3704
Conditions of Use