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Showing posts from June, 2018

Why I am not surprised that the NIH cancelled the alcohol-health study

Not long after enrolling the first patients in the much hyped prospective study on alcohol and health, the National Institutes of Health recently announced that they were pulling the plug. I am actually more surprised that they ever got it off the ground in the first place. As I wrote a year ago when the study was still in its planning stages, there were too many competing interests, criticisms of the study design, and concerns about funding to expect that whatever results came out would be universally accepted. Nevertheless, I am disappointed. The study, called Moderate Alcohol and Cardiovascular Health Trial (MACH) was intended to provide hard evidence about the health effects of moderate alcohol consumption by prospectively assigning subjects with heart disease to one drink per day or not drinking, which they were to follow for up to 10 years. Most existing data on the question is retrospective, or simply tracks a subject population according to their drinking preferences, which i…