Effect of Low Doses of Alcohol on the Warm-Up Phenomenon in Patients With Stable Angina Pectoris

Leonardo Marinaccio, Gaetano Antonio Lanza, Giampaolo Niccoli, Alessandro Fabretti, Priscilla Lamendola, Lucy Barone, Antonio Di Monaco, Francesca Di Clemente, Filippo Crea

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review


Experimental studies suggest that alcohol may have protective effects similar to that of ischemic preconditioning (IPC). The acute effects of alcohol on IPC in humans, however, are poorly known. In this study, we assessed the effect of alcohol administration on the warm-up phenomenon, as an expression of IPC, in patients with stable coronary artery disease (CAD). We randomized 45 stable CAD patients with positive (ST-segment depression ≥1 mm) exercise stress test to 1 of 3 groups of 15 patients each: (1) group 1 = 60 cc of gin (18.5 g of ethanol); (2) group 2 = 180 cc of red wine (18.9 g of ethanol); and (3) group 3 = placebo (120 cc of water). A first exercise test was performed 15 minutes after beverage administration. In those with a positive exercise test (13, 14, and 14 patients in the gin, wine, and placebo groups, respectively), a second exercise test was performed 15 minutes after the end of the first one. On the first test, there were no differences among groups in rate pressure product and time of exercise at 1-mm ST-segment depression, as well as in maximal ST segment depression. Furthermore, an improvement of the ischemic exercise variables was observed in each group, without any statistically significant differences among them. In conclusion, our data show that, in stable CAD patients, the acute intake of low doses of alcohol does not significantly influence IPC, as expressed by the warm-up phenomenon on exercise stress testing.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)146-149
Number of pages4
JournalThe American Journal of Cardiology
Issue number2
Publication statusPublished - Jul 15 2008

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Cardiology and Cardiovascular Medicine


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