NIH to end industry-funded study of alcohol’s benefits

WASHINGTON (AP) — The U.S. government is shutting down a study that was supposed to show if a single drink a day could prevent heart attacks, citing ethical problems that would undermine the credibility of its findings.

The National Institutes of Health used money from the alcohol industry to help pay for the $100 million study, which is legal under certain rules. The problem: An NIH investigation concluded that some employees had close contact with industry officials that appeared to cross those lines.

The research was supposed to track 7,800 people who either took a drink a day, or totally abstained, for several years. Only 105 people had enrolled so far. NIH Director Francis Collins said Friday the study is being terminated.

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