27 September 2018 In Cardiovascular System

BACKGROUND/OBJECTIVES: Low/moderate alcohol consumption seems to be protective against cardiovascular disease (CVD). This study aimed to investigate the association of wine/beer consumption with the 10-year CVD incidence.

SUBJECTS/METHODS: During 2001-2002, 3042 CVD-free adults consented to participate in the ATTICA study; of them 2583 completed the 10-year follow-up (85% participation rate), but precise information about fatal/nonfatal CVD incidence (myocardial infarction, angina pectoris, cardiac ischemia, heart failure, chronic arrhythmias, and stroke) was available in 2020 participants (overall retention rate 66%). Alcohol/ethanol intake and the alcoholic beverages consumed were assessed; participants were categorized into three groups (no use; 1 glass/week).

RESULTS: Alcohol drinking was reported by 56% of the participants who did not develop a CVD event and 49% of those who had (p = 0.04); whereas ethanol intake was 14 +/- 16 g among those who did not had an event vs. 21 +/- 18 g among those who had a CVD event (p < 0.001). A strong inverse and similar association between low wine/beer intake (20 g/day had CVD-risk HRs (95% CI) of 0.60 (0.40-0.98), 1.22 (0.60-1.14), and 1.81 (0.70-4.61), respectively.

CONCLUSIONS: This study revealed similar results of low wine/beer consumption against CVD incidence, mainly due to its implication on low-grade chronic inflammation.

18 May 2018 In General Health
OBJECTIVES: To investigate the association between alcohol consumption and left ventricular (LV) function in a population with low average alcohol intake. DESIGN, SETTING AND PARTICIPANTS: A total of 1296 healthy participants, free from cardiovascular diseases, were randomly selected from the third wave of the Norwegian HUNT study (2006-2008) and underwent echocardiography. After validation of the inclusion criteria, 30 participants were excluded due to arrhythmias or myocardial or valvular pathology. Alcohol consumption, sociodemographic and major cardiovascular risk factors were assessed by questionnaires and clinical examination in the HUNT3. General linear models were used to analyse the cross-sectional associations between alcohol intake and LV indices. PRIMARY AND SECONDARY OUTCOME MEASURES: LV functional and structural indices were measured with tissue Doppler and speckle tracking echocardiography. RESULTS: We observed no associations between alcohol consumption and multivariable-adjusted LV functional indices. Excluding abstainers who reported regular alcohol consumption 10 years prior to the baseline did not change the results. Alcohol consumption was positively associated with LV mass indices (p<0.01 for linear trend of the means); there was no such association among participants with non-risky drinking characteristics (p=0.67 for linear trend of the means). CONCLUSIONS: We found no clear evidence that light-moderate alcohol consumption is associated with measures of LV function, although our results indicate that consumption, especially when marked by binge drinking, is progressively associated with greater LV mass
03 May 2018 In Phenolic compounds
Atrial fibrillation (AF) is a common cardiac arrhythmia that is associated with increased risk for cardiovascular disease and overall mortality. Excessive alcohol intake is a well-known risk factor for AF, but this correlation is less clear with light and moderate drinking. Besides, low doses of red wine may acutely prolong repolarization and slow cardiac conduction. Resveratrol, a bioactive polyphenol found in grapes and red wine, has been linked to antiarrhythmic properties and may act as an inhibitor of both intracellular calcium release and pathological signaling cascades in AF, eliminating calcium overload and preserving the cardiomyocyte contractile function. However, there are still no clinical trials at all that prove that resveratrol supplementation leads to improved outcomes. Besides, no observational study supports a beneficial effect of light or moderate alcohol intake and a lower risk of AF. The purpose of this review is to briefly describe possible beneficial effects of red wine and resveratrol in AF, and also present studies conducted in humans regarding chronic red wine consumption, resveratrol, and AF
26 April 2017 In Cardiovascular System

There has been little focus on the effects of alcohol on the elderly. Although the cardiovascular benefits of moderate alcohol consumption could be of the greatest benefit in this group, so might be the detrimental effects of abuse. In this article, we review available data on the effects of alcohol consumption on cardiovascular disease, cardiomyopathy, arrhythmias, hypertension, and vascular function in older adults. Alcohol consumption has increased in the US population age 65 years and older in the last decade, as has monthly heavy episodic drinking in older alcohol consumers. Studies of alcohol consumption in older subjects suggest that consumption in moderation does not increase the risk of heart failure, hypertension, or atrial arrhythmias, and may in fact improve vascular function and reduce cardiovascular disease events. As in younger subjects, heavy consumption, or abuse of alcohol, negates any potential protective cardiovascular effects, increasing the incidence of heart failure and hypertension. Although alcohol consumed in moderation does not appear harmful in the elderly population, heavier consumption exacerbates hypertension and increases the incidence of heart failure.

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