Alcohol, smoking, coffee and risk of non-fatal acute myocardial infarction in Italy

Alessandra Tavani, Michaela Bertuzzi, Eva Negri, Loredana Sorbara, Carlo La Vecchia

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review


Objectives: To assess the relation between cigarette smoking, alcohol, coffee, decaffeinated coffee and tea consumption, and the risk of non-fatal acute myocardial infarction (AMI). Design and setting: Hospital-based case-control study conducted in 1995-1999 in Milan, Italy. Patients: 507 cases with a first episode of non-fatal AMI, and 478 controls admitted to hospital for acute diseases. Methods: Information was collected by interviewer-administered questionnaires. Odds ratios (OR) and 95% confidence intervals (CI) were calculated by multiple logistic regression. Results: Compared to alcohol non-drinkers the OR was 0.6 (95% CI: 0.4-0.9) in drinkers, and 0.5 in drinkers of >3 drinks/day. The OR for >1 drink/day of wine was 0.5, and those for beer, amari, grappa and spirits ranged between 0.4 and 0.6. Compared to never smokers, the OR was 2.2 (95% CI: 1.5-3.1) among current smokers, and 4.6 among current smokers of ≥25 cigarettes/day. The risk was similar to that of never smokers ≥5 years after cessation (OR: 1.1 after 5-9 years, 0.7 after ≥10 years). The OR was 2.3 for low tar cigarettes and 2.0 for high tar ones. The OR for coffee intake (expresso and mocha) was around unity up to 3 cups/day, but rose to 1.9 (95% CI: 1.1-3.3) for ≥6 cups/day. Moderate decaffeinated coffee and tea intake was not associated with AMI risk. Compared to nonsmokers drinking ≤3 cups of coffee/day, the OR was 1.6 among non-smokers drinking >3 cups of coffee/day and 3.3 (95% CI: 2.1-5.0) among current smokers drinking >3 cups of coffee/day. Compared to alcohol drinkers with a coffee intake of ≤3 cups/day, alcohol non-drinkers with higher coffee intake had an OR of 2.2, and compared to non-smokers alcohol drinkers, the OR was 3.3 in current smokers alcohol non-drinkers. Conclusions: In this Italian population alcohol intake was inversely associated to AMI risk, while smoking and heavy (but not moderate) coffee drinking increased the risk.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)1131-1137
Number of pages7
JournalEuropean Journal of Epidemiology
Issue number12
Publication statusPublished - 2002


  • Acute myocardial infarction
  • Alcohol
  • Case-control studies
  • Coffee
  • Decaffeinated coffee
  • Risk factors
  • Smoking
  • Tea
  • Wine

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Epidemiology


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