Alcohol and cardiovascular disease risk: evidence from conventional and genetic epidemiology

Moderate alcohol intake has been associated with reduced cardiovascular disease risk, when compared with abstinence or with heavier drinking, in many prospective studies. However, these findings may be subject to biases of reverse causation, confounding, and inaccurate reporting of drinking habits. Genetic epidemiology, ie, Mendelian randomisation, can help evaluate the causal effects of exposures such as alcohol intake. This lecture will compare the findings relating alcohol intake with cardiovascular disease from conventional epidemiological approaches with those from genetic epidemiology in a Chinese population where genetic variants strongly affect alcohol tolerance.

This lecture is given as part of the Introduction to Study Design and Research Methods course, part of the Evidence-Based Healthcare programme at the University of Oxford Department of Continuing Education.