22 June 2017 In Cardiovascular System

BACKGROUND & AIMS: Controversy exists on the association between alcohol consumption and risk of heart failure (HF). We carried out a meta-analysis to summarize available prospective data on alcohol consumption and HF.

METHODS: We searched PubMed for relevant studies published until January 1, 2017. Relative risk (RR) estimates from individual studies were pooled in a random-effects meta-analysis.

RESULTS: A total of 13 prospective studies, with 13,738 HF cases and 355,804 participants, were included in the meta-analysis. Light alcohol drinking (0.1-7 drinks/week) was inversely associated with risk of HF (RR, 0.86; 95% confidence interval, 0.81-0.90). There was no statistically significant association between moderate (7.1-14 drinks/week), high (14.1-28 drinks/week), or heavy (>28 drinks/week) alcohol consumption and HF risk. Former drinking was associated with an increased risk of HF compared with never or occasional drinking (RR, 1.22; 95% confidence interval, 1.11-1.33).

CONCLUSIONS: This meta-analysis found that light alcohol drinking was associated with a lower risk of HF. Former drinking was associated with a higher risk of HF.

26 April 2017 In Cardiovascular System

BACKGROUND: The potential cardioprotective effect of light-to-moderate alcohol consumption is disputed, and the association between heavy drinking and heart failure (HF) risk is unclear. We examined the association between alcohol consumption and risk of myocardial infarction (MI) and HF in two prospective cohorts.

METHODS: We analyzed data from the Cohort of Swedish Men (40,590 men) and the Swedish Mammography Cohort (34,022 women). Participants were free of ischemic heart disease and HF at baseline. MI and HF cases were ascertained by linkage with the Swedish National Patient Register. Cox proportional hazards regression model was used to estimate hazard ratios (HRs) with 95% confidence intervals (CIs).

RESULTS: During follow-up (1998-2010), we ascertained 3678 and 1905 cases of MI and HF, respectively, in men and 1500 and 1328 cases of MI and HF, respectively, in women. Alcohol consumption was inversely associated with MI in both men and women (P trend <0.001); compared with light drinkers, the multivariable HRs were 0.70 (95% CI, 0.56-0.87) in men who consumed >28 drinks/week and 0.32 (95% CI, 0.15-0.67) in women who consumed 15-21 drinks/week. Alcohol consumption was not inversely associated with HF risk. However, in men, the risk of HF was higher in never, former, and heavy drinkers (>28 drinks/week; HR=1.45; 95% CI, 1.09-1.93) compared with light drinkers.

CONCLUSIONS: Alcohol consumption has divergent associations with MI and HF, with an inverse association observed for MI but not HF. Heavy drinking was associated with an increased HF risk in men.

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.

26 April 2017 In Cardiovascular System

OBJECTIVES: To investigate the association between alcohol consumption and cardiovascular disease at higher resolution by examining the initial lifetime presentation of 12 cardiac, cerebrovascular, abdominal, or peripheral vascular diseases among five categories of consumption.

DESIGN: Population based cohort study of linked electronic health records covering primary care, hospital admissions, and mortality in 1997-2010 (median follow-up six years).

SETTING: CALIBER (ClinicAl research using LInked Bespoke studies and Electronic health Records).

PARTICIPANTS: 1 937 360 adults (51% women), aged >/=30 who were free from cardiovascular disease at baseline.

MAIN OUTCOME: measures 12 common symptomatic manifestations of cardiovascular disease, including chronic stable angina, unstable angina, acute myocardial infarction, unheralded coronary heart disease death, heart failure, sudden coronary death/cardiac arrest, transient ischaemic attack, ischaemic stroke, intracerebral and subarachnoid haemorrhage, peripheral arterial disease, and abdominal aortic aneurysm.

RESULTS: 114 859 individuals received an incident cardiovascular diagnosis during follow-up. Non-drinking was associated with an increased risk of unstable angina (hazard ratio 1.33, 95% confidence interval 1.21 to 1.45), myocardial infarction (1.32, 1.24 to1.41), unheralded coronary death (1.56, 1.38 to 1.76), heart failure (1.24, 1.11 to 1.38), ischaemic stroke (1.12, 1.01 to 1.24), peripheral arterial disease (1.22, 1.13 to 1.32), and abdominal aortic aneurysm (1.32, 1.17 to 1.49) compared with moderate drinking (consumption within contemporaneous UK weekly/daily guidelines of 21/3 and 14/2 units for men and women, respectively). Heavy drinking (exceeding guidelines) conferred an increased risk of presenting with unheralded coronary death (1.21, 1.08 to 1.35), heart failure (1.22, 1.08 to 1.37), cardiac arrest (1.50, 1.26 to 1.77), transient ischaemic attack (1.11, 1.02 to 1.37), ischaemic stroke (1.33, 1.09 to 1.63), intracerebral haemorrhage (1.37, 1.16 to 1.62), and peripheral arterial disease (1.35; 1.23 to 1.48), but a lower risk of myocardial infarction (0.88, 0.79 to 1.00) or stable angina (0.93, 0.86 to 1.00).

CONCLUSIONS: Heterogeneous associations exist between level of alcohol consumption and the initial presentation of cardiovascular diseases. This has implications for counselling patients, public health communication, and clinical research, suggesting a more nuanced approach to the role of alcohol in prevention of cardiovascular disease is necessary.

Registration clinicaltrails.gov (NCT01864031)

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