25 January 2019 In Cardiovascular System

BACKGROUND: Alcohol consumption is associated with cardiovascular disease (CVD), with moderate drinkers having decreased CVD risk compared to non- and heavy drinkers. However, whether alcohol consumption is associated with ideal cardiovascular health (CVH), assessed by the American Heart Association's (AHA) Life's Simple 7 (LS7) metrics, and whether associations differ by sex, is uncertain.

HYPOTHESIS: Heavy alcohol consumption is associated with worse CVH.

METHODS: We explored associations between alcohol consumption and CVH in a multi-ethnic population including 6506 participants free of CVD, aged 45 to 84 years. Each LS7 metric was scored 0 to 2 points. Total score was categorized as inadequate (0-8), average (9-10) and optimal (11-14). Participants were classified as never, former or current drinkers. Current drinkers were categorized as 2 (heavy) drinks/day. Multinomial logistic regression models assessed associations between alcohol and CVH, adjusted for age, sex, race/ethnicity, education, income, and health insurance.

RESULTS: Mean (SD) age was 62 (10) years, 53% were women. Compared to never drinkers, those with >2 drinks/day were less likely to have average [0.61 (0.43-0.87)] and optimal CVH [0.29 (0.17-0.49)]. Binge drinking was also associated with unfavorable CVH. Overall, there was no independent association for light or moderate drinking with CVH. However, women with 1 to 2 drinks/day were more likely to have optimal CVH [1.85 (1.19-2.88)] compared to non-drinking women, which was not seen in men.

CONCLUSION: Heavy alcohol consumption was associated with unfavorable CVH. Although light or moderate drinking may be associated with a more favorable CVH in women, overall, the association was not strong.

06 May 2014 In Cardiovascular System

We reviewed the roles of both alcohol and red wine in cardiovascular disease by discussing key animal and human studies. Included are studies regarding alcohol's association with coronary heart disease and the proposed mechanisms of action of alcohol. Likewise, studies concerning red wine's cardiovascular benefit and the mechanisms of action of red wine are discussed. Lastly, we reviewed studies on the adverse effects of alcohol and the current consumption recommendations as stated by the American Heart Association. Moderate alcohol consumption (<or=2 drinks per day) is associated with a reduced risk of coronary heart disease. This is believed to occur through alcohol's antithrombotic properties and its ability to increase high-density lipoprotein levels. It remains unclear whether polyphenol compounds in red wine make it an especially cardioprotective alcoholic beverage. These compounds are proposed to act by inhibiting low-density lipoprotein oxidation and thrombosis independently of alcohol. Moderate alcohol consumption is not associated with any significant morbidity; however, three or more drinks per day is associated with hypertriglyceridemia, cardiomyopathy, hypertension, and stroke. The American Heart Association does not recommend alcohol as a treatment approach and suggests that men drink no more than two drinks per day and women no more than one drink per day.

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