Shocking news: Wine with dinner won’t kill you

New British study says infamous 2018 research that said we’re all going to die was flawed

One of the blog’s tenets when it comes to wine and health studies is to check the methodology. If the study seems flawed in some way – and way too many studies about wine and health from reputable peer-reviewed journals do – then something fishy is going on.

Hence, the infamous 2018 study in Britain’s Lancet, one of the world’s most influential medical journals, and which claimed that any amount of drinking was dangerous. This week, the fish really started smelling.

The Times newspaper of London reported on Wednesday that a soon-to-be published paper in "The International Journal of Epidemiology" found that the Lancet research was “flawed.”

Said one of the new study’s authors: “One cannot now say any amount of alcohol is harmful in the same way as one can say any amount of smoking is harmful.”

The authors note that the “risk of developing a range of illnesses increases with any amount you drink on a regular basis.” The idea, they say, is not to encourage drinking, but to understand that “a little alcohol is acceptable but a lot is harmful.”

Which, of course, is not a surprise to any of us who were paying attention. What I found most interesting was the mathematical analysis used to refute the Lancet study – in other words, checking the methodology. The math showed that the results found in the Lancet research were not consistent with what should have happened.

Which raises the question of how the Lancet research made it past the peer review process. Perhaps the next study can look at that.

Photo: "Chalet N Wine Cellar Dinner" by jurvetson is licensed under CC BY 2.0