Giovanni de Gaetano
MD (Rome), Hematology Specialist (Rome), PhD (Leuven), MD (honoris causa) (Debrecen, Hungary and Bialystok, Poland). Head, Department Epidemiology and Prevention, IRCCS Istituto Neurologico Mediterraneo NEUROMED, POZZILLI, Italy.
President Ethical Committee of Molise Region. President (1997-2007) of European Thrombosis Research Organisation (ETRO). Member of the Editorial Board of several international journals. Chairman of the first EU-funded project on wine and health (1994). Partner of different EU-funded projects. Corresponding Member “Accademia Italiana della Vite e del Vino”. Invited speaker at Pontificia Accademia delle Scienze (Vatican City): “Wine in moderation and health“(2007). Member of “Alcohol in Moderation” (AIM) and the International Scientific Forum on Alcohol Research (Boston University). Areas of current scientific interest: Epidemiology of risk factors for cerebrocardiovascular disease (MOLI-SANI project). Epidemiology of Mediterranean Diet, alcohol and health. Author of over 500 peer-reviewed publications (Pubmed) and editor or contributor of numerous invited book chapters. H index (Top Italian Scientists): 71. Total citations: > 20,000.
Giovanni de Gaetano
with Simona Costanzo, Augusto Di Castelnuovo, Marialaura Bonaccio, Maria Benedetta Donati and Licia Iacoviello
IRCCS Istituto Neurologico Mediterraneo Neuromed, Pozzilli, Italy.
Title: Effects of wine, beer and spirits on health and disease
Abstract: Several meta-analyses on the relationship between alcohol consumption and clinical outcomes have been published in the past years. We performed a large meta-analysis that provided evidence of a J-shaped relationships between regular wine or beer intake and non-fatal vascular risk, with maximal protection (of about one fifth-one third) at moderate consumption (around 25 g/day of alcohol). A protection not seen when drinking was beyond moderation, i.e. more than 30 g of alcohol/day or irregular (binge drinking). A significant association between spirit intake and vascular disease could not be found, possibly due to different drinking patterns. For the effect of wine consumption on total mortality, a J-shaped curve was confirmed, while data on moderate beer consumption could only suggest a positive role against mortality.
Cross-sectional analysis of the Moli-SANI Study showed a J-shaped trend relating alcohol (mainly wine) consumption and low-grade inflammation. More recently, after a median follow-up of 8.3 years, a protection of moderate alcohol intake on heart failure, admission to hospital for any cause and total mortality has been observed. Similar results were obtained in either men or women or after restriction of the analyses to only wine drinkers. Moderate alcohol consumption also contributed to the reduced total mortality associated with adherence to Mediterranean diet in elderly subjects or in patients with type 2 diabetes from the Moli-SANI Study. The similar inverse association between wine or beer consumption and cardiovascular outcomes may be explained by a combined effect of alcohol and different polyphenols contained in either beverage and in foods of the Mediterranean diet.