PhD student in Public Health
Université de Montréal
Award-winning publication: Does physical activity moderate the association between alcohol drinking and all-cause, cancer and cardiovascular diseases mortality? A pooled analysis of eight British population cohorts
Published in: British Journal of Sports Medicine
We have all heard that moderate alcohol consumption can lead to health benefits. But the findings by Karine Perreault and her team indicate otherwise. In fact, they reveal that the risk of all-cause and cancer-related mortality rises as alcohol consumption increases, even in moderate amounts. In addition, the research did not find a clear link between alcohol consumption and cardiovascular mortality. But the particular interest of the work lies in the fact that the results showed that regular physical activity can considerably mitigate and even eliminate the link between alcohol consumption and the risk of death. The figures are particularly striking with regard to cancer-related mortality. Of course, active individuals must still monitor their alcohol consumption since the protective effect of physical activity diminishes with heavy alcohol use. In addition, it is important to remember that the researchers assessed the risk of premature death and not the risk of developing an illness. Nevertheless, the study reaffirms that physical activity promotes health, even despite unhealthy behaviours.