06 May 2014 In Diabetes

Disparities in associations of alcohol consumption to various cardiovascular conditions lead to separate consideration of several. These include (1) Alcoholic cardiomyopathy from chronic heavy drinking in susceptible persons. (2) Higher blood pressure (hypertension) in some heavier drinkers. (3) A relation of drinking to higher risk of hemorrhagic stroke but to lower risk of ischemic stroke. (4) Certain arrhythmias, especially among binge drinkers. (5) An inverse relation of alcohol use to coronary artery disease. A causal hypothesis of protection is strengthened by plausible mechanisms. The coronary disease data impact upon total mortality statistics, such that lighter drinkers are at slightly lower risk than abstainers of death within a given time period. (6) An inverse relation of drinking to type 2 (adult onset) diabetes mellitus in several recent studies. Because of close relations to cardiovascular disorders, diabetes is considered virtual cardiovascular "equivalent". (7) Composites of (1-6) result in a complex association between alcohol and the common heart failure syndrome. International comparisons suggest wine is more protective against coronary disease than liquor or beer. Reports of antioxidants, endothelial relaxants, and antithrombotic activity in wine (especially red) support hypothetical benefit from non-alcohol wine components. However, prospective population studies show apparent protection from beer, wine, or liquor. Thus, some suggest that favorable traits or drinking patterns of wine drinkers might explain the international comparison findings. Amount of alcohol taken is a crucial consideration in alcohol-health relations. Advice to concerned persons needs to take into account individual risk/benefit factors in drinkers or potential drinkers.

06 May 2014 In Cardiovascular System

Grain alcohol is a simple molecule (ethanol) but a complex drug. Alcohol has divergent cardiovascular effects depending on the amount consumed. In moderation, alcohol is associated with reduced risk for coronary heart disease, most likely because it increases high-density lipoprotein cholesterol. Especially in excess, alcohol impairs ventricular function, increases arrhythmias such as atrial fibrillation, and causes hypertension. The latter is an important consequence but is often overlooked by clinicians treating patients with hypertension. Although more attention has been given to the type of alcohol ingested (e.g., red vs. white wine), the pattern of drinking is far more important. In a study of 1,935 subjects after myocardial infarction, steady drinkers experienced a progressive decline in mortality with increasing consumption, whereas binge drinkers experienced no cardioprotection, even with heavy intake.

06 May 2014 In Cardiovascular System

Alcohol has been consumed by most societies over the last 7000 years. Abraham Lincoln said "It has long been recognized that the problems with alcohol relate not to the use of a bad thing, but to the abuse of a good thing." Light to moderate alcohol consumption reduces the incidence of coronary heart disease (CHD), ischemic stroke, peripheral arterial disease, CHD mortality, and all-cause mortality, especially in the western populations. However, heavy alcohol consumption is detrimental causing cardiomyopathy, cardiac arrhythmias, hepatic cirrhosis, pancreatitis, and hemorrhagic stroke. In this article, we review the effects of alcohol on CHD, individual cardiovascular risk factors, cardiomyopathy, and cardiac arrhythmias, including the most recent evidence of the effects of alcohol on CHD.

06 May 2014 In Cardiovascular System

Disparities in associations of alcohol consumption to various cardiovascular conditions lead to separate consideration of several. These include (1) Alcoholic cardiomyopathy from chronic heavy drinking in susceptible persons. (2) Higher blood pressure (hypertension) in some heavier drinkers. (3) A relation of drinking to higher risk of hemorrhagic stroke but to lower risk of ischemic stroke. (4) Certain arrhythmias, especially among binge drinkers. (5) An inverse relation of alcohol use to coronary artery disease. A causal hypothesis of protection is strengthened by plausible mechanisms. The coronary disease data impact upon total mortality statistics, such that lighter drinkers are at slightly lower risk than abstainers of death within a given time period. (6) An inverse relation of drinking to type 2 (adult onset) diabetes mellitus in several recent studies. Because of close relations to cardiovascular disorders, diabetes is considered virtual cardiovascular "equivalent". (7) Composites of (1-6) result in a complex association between alcohol and the common heart failure syndrome. International comparisons suggest wine is more protective against coronary disease than liquor or beer. Reports of antioxidants, endothelial relaxants, and antithrombotic activity in wine (especially red) support hypothetical benefit from non-alcohol wine components. However, prospective population studies show apparent protection from beer, wine, or liquor. Thus, some suggest that favorable traits or drinking patterns of wine drinkers might explain the international comparison findings. Amount of alcohol taken is a crucial consideration in alcohol-health relations. Advice to concerned persons needs to take into account individual risk/benefit factors in drinkers or potential drinkers.

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