27 July 2018 In Diabetes

BACKGROUND/OBJECTIVES: The progression of carotid-plaque volume in patients with type 2 diabetes is common. Previous observational studies showed an association between moderate alcohol and reduced risk of coronary disease. We examined whether consuming moderate wine affects the progression of carotid atherosclerosis.

SUBJECTS/METHODS: In the CASCADE (CArdiovaSCulAr Diabetes and Ethanol), a 2-year randomized controlled trial, we randomized abstainers with type 2 diabetes were to drink 150 ml of either red wine, white wine, or water, provided for 2 years. In addition, groups were guided to maintain a Mediterranean diet. We followed 2-year changes in carotid total plaque volume (carotid-TPV) and carotid vessel wall volume (carotid-VWV), using three-dimensional ultrasound.

RESULTS: Carotid images were available from 174 of the 224 CASCADE participants (67% men; age = 59 yr; HbA1C = 6.8%). Forty-five percent had detectable plaque at baseline. After 2 years, no significant progression in carotid-TPV was observed (water, -1.4 (17.0) mm(3), CI (-2.7, 5.5), white-wine, -1.2 (16.9) mm(3), CI (-3.8, 6.2), red wine, -1.3 (17.6) mm(3), CI (-3.4, 6.0; p = 0.9 between groups)). In post hoc analysis, we divided the 78 participants with detectable baseline carotid plaque into tertiles. Those with the higher baseline plaque burden, whom were assigned to drink wine, reduced their plaque volume significantly after 2 years, as compared to baseline. Two-year reductions in Apo(B)/Apo(A) ratio(s) were independently associated with regression in carotid-TPV (beta = 0.4; p < 0.001). Two-year decreases in systolic blood pressure were independently associated with regression in carotid-VWV (beta = 0.2; p = 0.005).

CONCLUSIONS: No progression in carotid-TPV was observed. In subgroup analyses, those with the greatest plaque burden assigned to drink wine may have had a small regression of plaque burden.

18 May 2018 In General Health

BACKGROUND: Low-risk limits recommended for alcohol consumption vary substantially across different national guidelines. To define thresholds associated with lowest risk for all-cause mortality and cardiovascular disease, we studied individual-participant data from 599 912 current drinkers without previous cardiovascular disease.

METHODS: We did a combined analysis of individual-participant data from three large-scale data sources in 19 high-income countries (the Emerging Risk Factors Collaboration, EPIC-CVD, and the UK Biobank). We characterised dose-response associations and calculated hazard ratios (HRs) per 100 g per week of alcohol (12.5 units per week) across 83 prospective studies, adjusting at least for study or centre, age, sex, smoking, and diabetes. To be eligible for the analysis, participants had to have information recorded about their alcohol consumption amount and status (ie, non-drinker vs current drinker), plus age, sex, history of diabetes and smoking status, at least 1 year of follow-up after baseline, and no baseline history of cardiovascular disease. The main analyses focused on current drinkers, whose baseline alcohol consumption was categorised into eight predefined groups according to the amount in grams consumed per week. We assessed alcohol consumption in relation to all-cause mortality, total cardiovascular disease, and several cardiovascular disease subtypes. We corrected HRs for estimated long-term variability in alcohol consumption using 152 640 serial alcohol assessments obtained some years apart (median interval 5.6 years [5th-95th percentile 1.04-13.5]) from 71 011 participants from 37 studies.

FINDINGS: In the 599 912 current drinkers included in the analysis, we recorded 40 310 deaths and 39 018 incident cardiovascular disease events during 5.4 million person-years of follow-up. For all-cause mortality, we recorded a positive and curvilinear association with the level of alcohol consumption, with the minimum mortality risk around or below 100 g per week. Alcohol consumption was roughly linearly associated with a higher risk of stroke (HR per 100 g per week higher consumption 1.14, 95% CI, 1.10-1.17), coronary disease excluding myocardial infarction (1.06, 1.00-1.11), heart failure (1.09, 1.03-1.15), fatal hypertensive disease (1.24, 1.15-1.33); and fatal aortic aneurysm (1.15, 1.03-1.28). By contrast, increased alcohol consumption was log-linearly associated with a lower risk of myocardial infarction (HR 0.94, 0.91-0.97). In comparison to those who reported drinking >0-100-200-350 g per week had lower life expectancy at age 40 years of approximately 6 months, 1-2 years, or 4-5 years, respectively.

INTERPRETATION: In current drinkers of alcohol in high-income countries, the threshold for lowest risk of all-cause mortality was about 100 g/week. For cardiovascular disease subtypes other than myocardial infarction, there were no clear risk thresholds below which lower alcohol consumption stopped being associated with lower disease risk. These data support limits for alcohol consumption that are lower than those recommended in most current guidelines.

FUNDING: UK Medical Research Council, British Heart Foundation, National Institute for Health Research, European Union Framework 7, and European Research Council.

28 August 2015 In Cardiovascular System

BACKGROUND: The prevalence of alcohol intake is increasing among women in some populations. Alcohol consumption plays an important role in the risk of major cardiovascular outcomes and total mortality. Here, we conducted a meta-analysis to estimate the association between alcohol intake and major cardiovascular outcomes or total mortality in women compared with men.

METHODS: We searched the PubMed, Embase, and the Cochrane Library databases for relevant articles published prior to June 2014. Among these potential included prospective studies, the different dose categories of alcohol intake were compared with the lowest alcohol intake or non-drinkers between women and men for the outcomes of major cardiovascular or total mortality.

RESULTS: We included 23 prospective studies (18 cohorts) reporting data on 489,696 individuals. The summary relative risk ratio (RRR; female to male) for total mortality was significantly increased with moderate alcohol intake compared with the lowest alcohol intake (RRR, 1.10; 95 % confidence interval [CI]: 1.00-1.21; P = 0.047); no such significance was observed with other levels of alcohol intake (low intake: RRR, 1.07; 95 % CI: 0.98-1.17; P = 0.143; heavy intake: RRR, 1.09; 95 % CI: 0.99-1.21; P = 0.084). There was no evidence of a sex difference in the relative risk for coronary disease, cardiac death, stroke, or ischemic stroke between participants with low to heavy alcohol intake compared with those who never consumed alcohol or had the lowest alcohol intake.

CONCLUSIONS: Women with moderate to heavy alcohol intake had a significantly increased risk of total mortality compared with men in multiple subpopulations. Control of alcohol intake should be considered for women, particularly for young women who may be susceptible to binge drinking.

26 March 2015 In Cardiovascular System

OBJECTIVE: In developed countries, sclerotic and calcific degeneration of the aortic valve is a common disorder showing pathophysiologic similarities with atherothrombotic coronary disease. Light to moderate alcohol consumption has been associated with a lower risk for atherothrombotic coronary disease and mortality. Whether alcohol consumption affects the development of aortic valve sclerosis (AVS) is not well known. In the present study, we aim to analyze the cross-sectional association between average daily alcohol consumption and AVS in the general population.

APPROACH AND RESULTS: We analyzed cross-sectional data from 2022 men and women, aged 45 to 81 years, from the population-based Study of Health in Pomerania. We used a computer-assisted interview that included beverage-specific questions about quantity and frequency of alcohol over the last 30 days to calculate the average quantity of alcohol consumption (in grams of ethanol per day). AVS was ascertained by echocardiography. The prevalence of AVS was 32.3%. Average daily alcohol intake displayed a J-type relation with AVS (fully adjusted P value: 0.005). Compared with individuals with an average consumption of 10 g of alcohol per day, multivariable-adjusted odds ratios were 1.60 (95% confidence interval, 1.19-2.14) among current abstainers and 1.56 (95% confidence interval, 1.01-2.41) among individuals with an average consumption of 60 g per day.

CONCLUSIONS: Our findings indicate that light to moderate alcohol consumption was associated with a lower odd of having AVS. Prospective data need to address whether alcohol consumption and related changes over time in several biological markers affect the progression of AVS.

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