04 May 2020 In Cardiovascular System

The effects of alcohol on cardiovascular health are heterogeneous and vary according toconsumption dose and pattern.

These effects have classically been described as having a J-shapedcurve, in which low-to-moderate consumption is associated with less risk than lifetime abstention,and heavy drinkers show the highest risk. Nonetheless, the beneficial effects of alcohol have beenquestioned due to the difficulties in establishing a safe drinking threshold.

This review focuses onthe association between alcohol consumption and cardiovascular risk factors and the underlyingmechanisms of damage, with review of the literature from the last 10 years.

21 February 2020 In General Health

BACKGROUND: Problem drinking carries significant health burdens, including an increased risk of hypertension. The effect of chronic alcohol intake on blood pressure (BP) in women is understudied and poorly understood.

OBJECTIVES: We sought to examine the relationships between drinking habits and BP in hypertensive women. METHODS: We analyzed drinking habits in 113 women followed in the Brigham and Women's Hospital Hypertension Clinic for at least one year.

RESULTS: Among these women with well-controlled hypertension, baseline diastolic BP was significantly lower in moderate drinkers compared with women who rarely or never drank. Changes in both systolic and diastolic BP over 12 months showed a significant negative association with changes in percent drinking days. In contrast, there was a trend toward higher baseline systolic BP among those women who consumed more drinks per drinking day.

CONCLUSIONS: Among these women with controlled hypertension, our data failed to demonstrate an association between drinking beyond recommended limits and higher disease burden. These findings parallel the widely reported difference between drinking frequency, associated with a host of positive health outcomes, and drinking intensity, associated with negative outcomes. Novel to this report is an observed reduction in blood pressure over the one-year follow-up period accompanying an increased drinking frequency in treated hypertensive women. Cautions include the suggestion that a greater number of drinks per drinking day was associated with higher baseline pressure. These data imply that drinking within sensible limits has no negative impact on chronic hypertension. In fact, for women with well-controlled hypertension, such a habit may impart benefit

24 January 2020 In Cardiovascular System

Alcohol has a hormetic physiological behavior that results in either increased or decreased cardiovascular risk depending on the amount consumed, drinking frequency, pattern of consumption, and the outcomes under study or even the type of alcoholic beverage consumed.

However, the vast majority of studies elucidating the role of alcohol in cardiovascular and in the global burden of disease relies on epidemiological studies of associative nature which carry several limitations. This is why the cardiovascular benefits of low-moderate alcohol consumption are being questioned and perhaps might have been overestimated.

Thus, the aim of this review was to critically discuss the current knowledge on the relationship between alcohol intake and cardiovascular disease. Besides new evidence associating low and moderate alcohol consumption with decreased risk of cardiovascular disease, several questions remain unanswered related to the concrete amount of safe consumption, the type of alcoholic beverage, and the age-, sex-, and genetic/ethnical-specific differences in alcohol consumption.

27 September 2019 In General Health

PURPOSE OF REVIEW: To examine outstanding issues in the relationship of alcohol to hypertension. These include whether the increase in BP with alcohol is causally related, the nature of the relationship in women, the contribution of alcohol-related increases in BP to cardiovascular disease and the aetiology of alcohol-related hypertension.

RECENT FINDINGS: Intervention studies and Mendelian randomisation analyses confirm the alcohol-BP relationship is causal. The concept that low-level alcohol intake reduces BP in women is increasingly unsustainable. Alcohol-related hypertension is in the causal pathway between alcohol use and increased risk for several cardiovascular outcomes. The aetiology of alcohol-related hypertension is multifactorial with recent data highlighting the effects of alcohol on the vasoconstrictor 20-HETE and oxidative stress. The high prevalence of both alcohol use and hypertension mandates a careful alcohol history in every patient with elevated BP. Early intervention for excessive alcohol use offers the promise of lower levels of BP and reduced risk of adverse cardiovascular outcomes.

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