Intake of spirits and beer as well as smoking was measured by questionnaire in a random population sample from two counties of Eastern Finland in 1972. At the same time serum cholesterol, triglycerides and blood pressure were measured in a field examination. The study material consists of 4063 men aged 30-59 years (participation rate 92%). During a 7-yr follow-up 209 of these men had developed an acute myocardial infarction (AMI) and 223 men had died. Reported spirits and beer intake had both a strong positive association with smoking and serum triglycerides, a weak positive association with diastolic blood pressure, but no relationship to serum total cholesterol. Use of spirits at least once a week was associated with a reduced risk of AMI. The relative risk (RR), adjusted for age and conventional coronary risk factors was 0.5 (95% confidence interval (CI), 0.3-0.9). Consumption of beer had no significant relationship to the risk of AMI. Consumption of at least five bottles of beer a week was related to a slightly excessive risk of death from any cause (adjusted RR = 1.5, 95% CI = 1.0-2.1). Spirits intake had no significant association with the risk of death. © 1983.
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