07 February 2023 In Drinking Patterns

BACKGROUND: Most of the available epidemiological evidence on alcohol and chronic disease agrees on recommending alcohol abstention to young people, but some controversy exists about the most appropriate recommendation for alcohol abstention for people of older ages. A growing body of evidence suggests that the pattern of alcohol consumption is likely to be a strong effect modifier. The Mediterranean Alcohol Drinking Pattern (MADP) represents a score integrating several dimensions of drinking patterns (moderation, preference for red wine, drinking with meals, and avoiding binge drinking). Our aim was to clarify this issue and provide more precise recommendations on alcohol consumption.

METHODS: We prospectively followed-up 2226 participants (men older than 50 years and women older than 55 years at baseline) in the Seguimiento Universidad de Navarra (SUN) cohort. We classified participants into three categories of adherence to the MADP score (low, moderate, and high), and we added a fourth category for abstainers. Cox regression models estimated multivariable-adjusted hazard ratios (HR) of all-cause death and 95% confidence intervals (CI) using low MADP adherence as the reference category. RESULTS: The strongest reduction in risk of mortality was observed for those with high adherence to the MADP, with an HR of 0.54 (95% CI: 0.37-0.80). The moderate adherence group (HR = 0.65, 95% CI: 0.44-0.96) and the abstention group (HR = 0.60, 95% CI: 0.36-0.98) also exhibited lower risks of mortality than the low MADP adherence group.

CONCLUSIONS: based on the available evidence, a public health message can be provided to people older than 50 years as follows: among those who drink alcohol, high adherence to the MADP score could substantially reduce their risk of all-cause mortality.

07 February 2023 In Cardiovascular System

Alcohol consumption ranging from 1-2 drinks/day associates with a lower risk of coronary heart disease in some studies.

The underlying mechanisms are unclear. The Metabolic Imprints of Alcoholic Beverages (MetAl) trial aimed to explore the short-term effects of moderate alcohol consumption on cardiovascular biomarkers. A 2 x 3-week cross-over single-blinded intervention trial investigating the effect of 1-2 drinks/day (~12-24 g) compared with abstention on (1)H Nuclear Magnetic Resonance-measured main lipoproteins and subfractions was performed in 26 healthy adults.

Volunteers were classified as occasional or habitual drinkers based on their habitual alcohol intakes (/=2 drinks/week).

Compared with abstention, 1-2 drinks/day increased HDL(2a)-C (p = 0.004), HDL(3)-C (p = 0.008), and HDL non-significantly (p = 0.19).

Total apoA1 and apoA1 in HDL and its subfractions increased (p < 0.05). Novel findings were a decreased apoB/apoA1 ratio (p = 0.02), and increased HDL(2a) phospholipid content (p = 0.04). In women alone, the results were similar but attenuated, and LDL-P decreased. Thus, changes in apoA1- and HDL-related biomarkers occur within weeks in moderate drinkers. Compared with abstention, 1-2 drinks/day increased total apoA1 more strongly than HDL-C and increased the cholesterol, apoA1, and phospholipid content of several HDL subfractions.

Whether this provides a cardiovascular benefit requires further study. Clinicaltrials.gov: NCT03384147.

07 February 2023 In Cardiovascular System

BACKGROUND AND OBJECTIVES: There is uncertainty about the association between alcohol consumption and stroke, particularly for low-moderate intake. We explored these associations in a large international study. METHODS: INTERSTROKE, a case-control study, is the largest international study of risk factors for acute stroke. Alcohol consumption was self-reported and categorized by drinks/week as low (1-7), moderate (7-14 for females and 7-21 for males), or high (>14 for females and >21 for males).

Heavy episodic drinking (HED) was defined as >5 drinks on >/=1 day per month. Multivariable conditional logistic regression was used to determine associations. RESULTS: We included 12,913 cases and 12,935 controls; 25.0% (n = 6,449) were current drinkers, 16.7% (n = 4,318) former drinkers, and 58.3% (n = 15,076) never drinkers. Current drinkers were younger, male, smokers, active, and with higher-paid occupations. Current drinking was associated with all stroke (OR 1.14; 95% CI 1.04-1.26) and intracerebral hemorrhage (ICH) (OR 1.50, 95% CI 1.21-1.84) but not ischemic stroke (OR 1.06; 95% CI 0.95-1.19).

HED pattern was associated with all stroke (OR 1.39; 95% CI 1.21-1.59), ischemic stroke (OR 1.29; 95% CI 1.10-1.51), and ICH (OR 1.76; 95% CI 1.31-2.36). High level of alcohol intake was consistently associated with all stroke, ischemic stroke, and ICH. Moderate intake was associated with all stroke and ICH but not ischemic stroke. Low alcohol intake was not associated with stroke overall, but there were regional differences; low intake was associated with reduced odds of stroke in Western Europe/North America (OR 0.66; 95% CI 0.45-0.96) and increased odds in India (OR 2.18; 95% CI 1.42-3.36) (p-interaction 0.037). Wine consumption was associated with reduced odds of all stroke and ischemic stroke but not ICH. The magnitudes of association were greatest in those without hypertension and current smokers.

DISCUSSION: High and moderate intake were associated with increased odds of stroke, whereas low intake was not associated with stroke. However, there were important regional variations, which may relate to differences in population characteristics of alcohol consumers, types or patterns of consumption.

29 January 2023 In Cardiovascular System

Alcohol consumption ranging from 1-2 drinks/day associates with a lower risk of coronary heart disease in some studies.

The underlying mechanisms are unclear. The Metabolic Imprints of Alcoholic Beverages (MetAl) trial aimed to explore the short-term effects of moderate alcohol consumption on cardiovascular biomarkers. A 2 x 3-week cross-over single-blinded intervention trial investigating the effect of 1-2 drinks/day (~12-24 g) compared with abstention on (1)H Nuclear Magnetic Resonance-measured main lipoproteins and subfractions was performed in 26 healthy adults. Volunteers were classified as occasional or habitual drinkers based on their habitual alcohol intakes (/=2 drinks/week).

Compared with abstention, 1-2 drinks/day increased HDL(2a)-C (p = 0.004), HDL(3)-C (p = 0.008), and HDL non-significantly (p = 0.19). Total apoA1 and apoA1 in HDL and its subfractions increased (p < 0.05).

Novel findings were a decreased apoB/apoA1 ratio (p = 0.02), and increased HDL(2a) phospholipid content (p = 0.04). In women alone, the results were similar but attenuated, and LDL-P decreased.

Thus, changes in apoA1- and HDL-related biomarkers occur within weeks in moderate drinkers. Compared with abstention, 1-2 drinks/day increased total apoA1 more strongly than HDL-C and increased the cholesterol, apoA1, and phospholipid content of several HDL subfractions. Whether this provides a cardiovascular benefit requires further study. Clinicaltrials.gov: NCT03384147.

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