The relationship between alcohol and health is undeniably controversial. So much so that National Institutes of Health (NIH) covered up the association between abstinence from alcohol and increased risk of heart disease.
In 1974, the Framingham Study found that the “big four” risk factors for heart disease are high blood pressure, smoking cigarettes, high cholesterol and abstinence from alcohol. However, when the NIH reported the study, they only mentioned three.
> NIH officials said, “Refer to only three major risk factors and remove all reference to alcohol. With all the abuse in this country, we must not say alcohol prevents (coronary heart disease). If you must comment on alcohol, say it has no effect.”
This information was revealed at the recent International Wine and Heart Health Summit at Silverado Resort in February. Cover-ups like this one are not surprising, the NIH is known for selectively reporting information to the public.
While it’s understandable to withhold this type of information, they are jeopardizing the health of responsible drinkers. It is important for the public to receive objective information so they can make decisions on what’s good for their health and what’s not.