The health risks of alcohol were in the news again last week following the World Heart Federation (WHF) stating that:

“Risks due to alcohol consumption increase for all the major cardiovascular diseases, including hypertensive heart disease, cardiomyopathy, atrial fibrillation and flutter, and stroke. The widespread message for over 30 years from some researchers, the alcohol industry, and the media has been to promote the myth that alcohol prolongs life, chiefly by reducing the risk of CVD.”

The evidence on the relationship between alcohol and cardiovascular diseases continues to accumulate, with reliable information available from Alcohol Change UK, Alcohol Focus Scotland, Alcohol Action Ireland, SHAAP and the WHF.

Various media articles today sought comment from the alcohol industry on the WHF policy briefing, leading to industry organisations commenting on health matters. Research has shown alcohol industry and corporate social responsibility body funded materials may not be a reliable source of health information for the public. Health information on the risks of alcohol should be provided by independent bodies, free from conflicts of interest, just as the tobacco industry is not involved in educating about the risk of smoking.