de Gaetano

Giovanni de Gaetano

Giovanni de Gaetano

Italy - Pozzilli


MD (Rome, Catholic University), PhD (Leuven University, Belgium), MD honoris causa (Debrecen University, Hungary and Bialystok University, Poland). Knight of merit of the Italian Republic

Appointed Director of the Laboratory of Cardiovascular Clinical Pharmacology at Mario Negri Institute, Milan, while being still a post-doc fellow. At the end of the Eighties, he moved to Central Southern Italy, where he was a co-founder and first Director of a new research institute, the Mario Negri Sud. He was then appointed in 2002 Director of the Research Laboratories at the “John Paul II” Centre for High Technology Research and Education in Biomedical Sciences of the Catholic University, Campobasso. Since 2013, he was Head of the Department of Epidemiology and Prevention, IRCCS Istituto Neurologico Mediterraneo Neuromed, Pozzilli (Isernia) and is presently President of the Board of Neuromed.

Author of more than 600 peer-reviewed publications (Pubmed), with a H-index of 92 and more than 46,000 citations; his major scientific contributions are related to low-dose aspirin as an antiplatelet and antithrombotic drug and to the characterization of moderate wine and alcohol consumption (in the context of a Mediterranean Diet) as associated with reduced cardiovascular outcomes and all-cause mortality.

His major current scientific interests include epidemiology of common risk factors for cardiovascular disease, cancer and neuro-degenerative disorders (the Moli-sani Study on over 24,000 adult participants from the general population,, epidemiology of food, nutrition and health, clinical pharmacology of aspirin and natural polyphenols. He is also an expert of science communication. Lately, he was appointed as the first Editor in Chief of the new scientific journal “Bleeding, Thrombosis and Vascular Biology”, BTVB.


- IRCCS Istituto Neurologico Mediterraneo NEUROMED

Areas of expertise

- epidemiology
- science communication


New evidence of moderate wine consumption on the primary and secondary prevention of cardiovascular disease

New evidence for the effect of  moderate wine consumption on prevention of cardiovascular outcomes and total mortality

Using data from the Moli-sani cohort, on 20,682 apparently healthy Italian adults, moderate alcohol consumption (1-12 g/day) had a significant reducing impact on global hospitalization burden. Heavier drinkers (> 48 g/day) had a higher rate of hospitalization for all causes, including alcohol-related diseases and cancer, a risk further magnified by concurrent smoking.

Pooling data from 16 cohorts (15 from Europe) in the MORGAM Project, for a total of 142,960 individuals (mean age 50 ± 13 years, 53.9% men), in comparison with life-time abstainers, consumption of alcohol less than 10 g/day was associated with an average 11% reduction in the risk of total or cardiovascular mortality, while intake > 20 g/day was associated with a 13% increase. Drinking up to 10 g/day was not associated with either cancer mortality risk reduction or increase, while alcohol intake > 20 g/day was associated with a 22% increase. The association was always J-shaped but differed between Mediterranean and other Countries and was more apparent in individuals preferring wine.

Again using data from MORGAM Project, in comparison with life-long abstainers, participants drinking 0.1-10 g/d had 13%, 11% and 5% lower rate of death in higher, middle and lower educational level (EL), respectively. Conversely, drinkers > 20 g/d had 1%, 10% and 17% higher death-rate. The association showed a different J-shape by EL levels and was more evident in wine preferring drinkers. Drinking in moderation (≤ 10 g/d) was associated with lower mortality rate more evidently in individuals with higher EL than in people with lower EL, while heavy drinking was associated with higher mortality rate more evidently in individuals with lower than higher EL.

In contrast to a beneficial effect on heart failure, moderate habitual alcohol intake of 1.2 drinks/day in 107 845 MORGAM Project individuals was associated with an increased risk of atrial fibrillation.


1 Di Castelnuovo A et al (2022) Alcohol intake and total mortality in 142 960 individuals from the MORGAM Project: a population-based study Addiction 117:312-325. doi: 10.1111/add.15593.

2 Di Castelnuovo A et al (2023) Drinking alcohol in moderation is associated with lower rate of all-cause mortality in individuals with higher rather than lower educational level: findings from the MORGAM project Eur J Epidemiol. 2023 Aug;38(8):869-881. doi: 10.1007/s10654-023-01022-3.