06 May 2014 In Cardiovascular System

BACKGROUND: The cardioprotective properties of moderate alcohol consumption, compared with abstinence or heavy drinking, are widely reported, but whether the benefits are experienced equally by all moderate drinkers is less well known. AIMS: To examine the association between average alcohol intake per week and the incidence of fatal and non-fatal myocardial infarction during 17 years of follow-up for 9655 men and women without prevalent disease in the general population; and to test whether the level of cardioprotection differs according to subjects' other health behaviours (healthy, moderately healthy, unhealthy) at entry to the study.

METHOD: A longitudinal, British civil service-based cohort study, baseline in 1985-8.

RESULTS: A significant benefit of moderate drinking compared with abstinence or heavy drinking was found among those with poor health behaviours (little exercise, poor diet and smokers). No additional benefit from alcohol was found among those with the healthiest behaviour profile (> or =3 hours of vigorous exercise per week, daily fruit or vegetable consumption and non-smokers).

CONCLUSION: The cardioprotective benefit from moderate drinking does not apply equally to all drinkers, and this variability should be emphasised in public health messages.

06 May 2014 In Cardiovascular System

BACKGROUND: Alcohol and caffeine intakes may play a role in the development of sudden cardiac death (SCD) because of their effects on cholesterol, blood pressure, heart rate variability, and inflammation.

OBJECTIVE: Our objective was to examine the association between long-term alcohol and caffeine intakes and risk of SCD in women.

DESIGN: We examined 93,676 postmenopausal women who participated in the Women's Health Initiative Observational Study. Women were enrolled between 1993 and 1998 and were followed until August 2009. Women completed a food-frequency questionnaire at baseline and again at year 3. We modeled exposure to alcohol 3 ways: by using baseline intake only, a cumulative average of baseline and year 3 intake, and the most recent reported intake (a simple time-varying analysis).

RESULTS: Intake of 5-15 g alcohol/d (about one drink) was associated with a nonsignificantly reduced risk of SCD compared with 0.1-5 g/d of baseline intake (HR: 0.64; 95% CI: 0.40, 1.02), of cumulative average intake (HR: 0.69; 95% CI: 0.43, 1.11), and of most recent intake (HR: 0.58; 95% CI: 0.35, 0.96), with adjustment for age, race, income, smoking, body mass index, physical activity, hormone use, and total energy. No association was found between SCD and total caffeine intake (mg/d) or cups of caffeinated coffee, decaffeinated coffee, and caffeinated tea.

CONCLUSIONS: Our results suggest that about one drink per day (or 5.1-15 g/d) may be associated with a reduced risk of SCD in this population; however, this association was only statistically significant for a model using the most recent alcohol intake. Total caffeine, regular coffee, decaffeinated coffee, and regular tea intake were not associated with the risk of SCD.

This trial was registered at clinicaltrials.gov as NCT00000611

06 May 2014 In Cardiovascular System

The results of studies on the role of appropriate wine consumption in the prevention of cardiovascular disease are inconsistent, suggesting that the general approach to the issue needs to be revisited before further research is conducted. A number of points for consideration are raised: (1) the necessity to characterize wine analytically, as the content in important components of wine, such as resveratrol, is influenced considerably by regional factors, such as climate and local oenological procedures; (2) the bioavailability of the components of wine, which appears to be adequate as a broad range of biological effects have been documented at low concentrations that can be achieved by moderate chronic wine consumption; (3) the lack of importance of wine color, as also white wine consumption affords benefit, thanks to its content in the antioxidants caffeic acid, tyrosol and hydroxytyrosol, which are also found in olive oil; (4) the recommendation by WHO to "investigate the possible protective effects of ingredients other than alcohol in alcoholic beverages".

06 May 2014 In Cardiovascular System

PURPOSE: To examine the association between alcohol consumption and mortality among older Mexican American men, with and without pre-existing cardiovascular conditions.

METHODS: We conducted survival analysis among 908 men aged 65-80 years from the Hispanic Established Population for the Epidemiological Study of the Elderly (H-EPESE), a longitudinal population-based study of older Mexican Americans who reside in the southwestern United States. Men were categorized into four alcohol-consumption groups: lifetime abstainers, former drinkers, low risk drinkers (< or =30 drinks/month and < or =3 drinks/occasion) and at-risk drinkers (>30 drinks/month or >3 drinks/occasion) and stratified into two groups: those with and those without pre-existing cardiovascular conditions. Mortality was ascertained from 1993-1994 to 2007.

RESULTS: Among participants without pre-existing cardiovascular conditions, former, low risk, and at-risk drinkers had a lower risk for all-cause mortality compared to lifetime abstainers [HR: .70, 95% CI (.50-.99), .64 (.42-.97) and .60 (.40-.92), respectively]. There was no statistically significant association between mortality and any of the alcohol consumption groups among those with cardiovascular conditions.

CONCLUSIONS: Among older Mexican-American men without cardiovascular conditions, former and current drinkers had lower mortality compared to abstainers. No such associations were observed between alcohol use and mortality among those with cardiovascular conditions.

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