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Research Summary

Effects of Alcohol on Restenosis After PTCA and Stenting

Alcohol intake can reduce the risk of coronary artery disease through various possible mechanisms (e.g., influencing the coagulation cascade, affecting lipids). In a retrospective cohort study, researchers examined whether intake could lower risk of restenosis in men with coronary artery disease treated with percutaneous transluminal coronary angioplasty (PTCA) and stent implantation. They examined 225 men (with 346 stents among them) who underwent these procedures and had another angiogram 6 months later. Most consumed <350 g of alcohol per week (less than approximately 3 drinks a day).

  • Men who consumed 50 g–700 g of alcohol per week, compared with those who drank <50 g per week, had significantly less coronary restenosis (34% versus 49%) and repeat angioplasty (23% versus 43%) per treated arterial segment. They also had a lower mean loss of the coronary artery luminal diameter (1.1 mm versus 1.5 mm).
  • In multivariable analyses adjusted for various demographic, behavioral, and clinical factors, alcohol consumption was independently and significantly associated with restenosis (odds ratio, OR, 0.5), repeat angioplasty (OR 0.4), and loss of the luminal diameter (P=0.005).


These results, which support previous animal and human research, strongly suggest that moderate alcohol intake protects against restenosis in patients undergoing angioplasty and stenting. Similar studies of patients undergoing angioplasty are needed to determine if alcohol's apparent protection against restenosis remains with the implantation of drug-eluting stents (which were not used in this study).

R. Curtis Ellison, MD


Niroomand F, Hauer O, Tiefenbacher CP, et al. Influence of alcohol consumption on restenosis rate after percutaneous transluminal coronary angioplasty and stent implantation. Heart. 2004;90(10):1189–1193.
(view abstract)