22 June 2017 In Cardiovascular System

Aims: Epidemiological evidence indicates a protective effect of light to moderate alcohol consumption compared to non-drinking and heavy drinking. Although several mechanisms have been suggested, the effect of alcohol on atherosclerotic changes in vessel walls is unclear. Therefore, we explored the relationship between alcohol consumption and common carotid intima media thickness, a marker of early atherosclerosis in the general population.

Methods: Individual participant data from eight cohorts, involving 37,494 individuals from the USE-IMT collaboration were used. Multilevel age and sex adjusted linear regression models were applied to estimate mean differences in common carotid intima-media thickness (CIMT) with alcohol consumption.

Results: The mean age was 57.9 years (SD 8.6) and the mean CIMT was 0.75 mm (SD 0.177). About, 40.5% reported no alcohol consumed, and among those who drank, mean consumption was 13.3 g per day (SD 16.4). Those consuming no alcohol or a very small amount (10 g per day, after adjusting for a range of confounding factors. Conclusion: In this large CIMT consortium, we did not find evidence to support a protective effect of alcohol on CIMT.

26 April 2017 In General Health

BACKGROUND: In cross-sectional studies and short-term clinical trials, it has been suggested that there is a positive dose-response relation between alcohol consumption and HDL concentrations. However, prospective data have been limited.

OBJECTIVE: We sought to determine the association between total alcohol intake, the type of alcohol-containing beverage, and the 6-y (2006-2012) longitudinal change in HDL-cholesterol concentrations in a community-based cohort.

DESIGN: A total of 71,379 Chinese adults (mean age: 50 y) who were free of cardiovascular diseases and cancer and did not use cholesterol-lowering agents during follow-up were included in the study. Alcohol intake was assessed via a questionnaire in 2006 (baseline), and participants were classified into the following categories of alcohol consumption: never, past, light (women: 0-0.4 servings/d; men: 0-0.9 servings/d), moderate (women: 0.5-1.0 servings/d; men: 1-2 servings/d), and heavy (women: >1.0 servings/d; men: >2 servings/d). HDL-cholesterol concentrations were measured in 2006, 2008, 2010, and 2012. We used generalized estimating equation models to examine the associations between baseline alcohol intake and the change in HDL-cholesterol concentrations with adjustment for age, sex, smoking, physical activity, obesity, hypertension, diabetes, liver function, and C-reactive protein concentrations.

RESULTS: An umbrella-shaped association was observed between total alcohol consumption and changes in HDL-cholesterol concentrations. Compared with never drinkers, past, light, moderate, and heavy drinkers experienced slower decreases in HDL cholesterol of 0.012 mmol . L-1 . y-1 (95% CI: 0.008, 0.016 mmol . L-1 . y-1), 0.013 mmol . L-1 . y-1 (95% CI: 0.010, 0.016 mmol . L-1 . y-1), 0.017 mmol . L-1 . y-1 (95% CI: 0.009, 0.025 mmol . L-1 . y-1), and 0.008 mmol . L-1 . y-1 (95% CI: 0.005, 0.011 mmol . L-1 . y-1), respectively (P < 0.0001 for all), after adjustment for potential confounders. Moderate alcohol consumption was associated with the slowest increase in total-cholesterol:HDL-cholesterol and triglyceride: HDL-cholesterol ratios. We observed a similar association between hard-liquor consumption and the HDL-cholesterol change. In contrast, greater beer consumption was associated with slower HDL-cholesterol decreases in a dose-response manner.

CONCLUSION: Moderate alcohol consumption was associated with slower HDL-cholesterol decreases; however, the type of alcoholic beverage had differential effects on the change in the HDL-cholesterol concentration.

26 April 2017 In General Health

PURPOSE: Endothelial dysfunction and low-grade inflammation are key phenomena in the pathobiology of cardiovascular disease (CVD). Their dietary modification might explain the observed reduction in CVD that has been associated with a healthy diet rich in fruit, vegetables and fish, low in dairy products and with moderate alcohol and red wine consumption. We investigated the associations between the above food groups and endothelial dysfunction and low-grade inflammation in a population-based cohort of Dutch elderly individuals.

METHODS: Diet was measured by food frequency questionnaire (n = 801; women = 399; age 68.5 +/- 7.2 years). Endothelial dysfunction was determined (1) by combining von Willebrand factor, and soluble intercellular adhesion molecule 1 (sICAM-1), vascular cell adhesion molecule 1, endothelial selectin and thrombomodulin, using Z-scores, into a biomarker score and (2) by flow-mediated vasodilation (FMD), and low-grade inflammation by combining C-reactive protein, serum amyloid A, interleukin 6, interleukin 8, tumour necrosis factor alpha and sICAM-1 into a biomarker score, with smaller FMD and higher scores representing more dysfunction and inflammation, respectively. We used linear regression analyses to adjust associations for sex, age, energy, glucose metabolism, body mass index, smoking, prior CVD, educational level, physical activity and each of the other food groups.

RESULTS: Moderate [beta (95% CI) -0.13 (-0.33; 0.07)] and high [-0.22 (-0.45; -0.003)] alcohol consumption, and red wine [-0.16 (-0.30; -0.01)] consumption, but none of the other food groups, were associated with a lower endothelial dysfunction biomarker score and a greater FMD. The associations for FMD were, however, not statistically significant. Only red wine consumption was associated with a lower low-grade inflammation biomarker score [-0.18 (-0.33; -0.04)].

CONCLUSIONS: Alcohol and red wine consumption may favourably influence processes involved in atherothrombosis.

26 April 2017 In Diabetes

BACKGROUND/OBJECTIVES: It is unknown if wine, beer and spirit intake lead to a similar association with diabetes. We studied the association between alcoholic beverage preference and type 2 diabetes incidence in persons who reported to consume alcohol.

SUBJECTS/METHODS: Ten European cohort studies from the Consortium on Health and Ageing: Network of Cohorts in Europe and the United States were included, comprising participant data of 62 458 adults who reported alcohol consumption at baseline. Diabetes incidence was based on documented and/or self-reported diagnosis during follow-up. Preference was defined when 70% of total alcohol consumed was either beer, wine or spirits. Adjusted hazard ratios (HRs) were computed using Cox proportional hazard regression. Single-cohort HRs were pooled by random-effects meta-analysis.

RESULTS: Beer, wine or spirit preference was not related to diabetes risk compared with having no preference. The pooled HRs were HR 1.06 (95% confidence interval (CI) 0.93, 1.20) for beer, HR 0.99 (95% CI 0.88, 1.11) for wine, and HR 1.19 (95% CI 0.97, 1.46) for spirit preference. Absolute wine intake, adjusted for total alcohol, was associated with a lower diabetes risk: pooled HR per 6 g/day was 0.96 (95% CI 0.93, 0.99). A spirit preference was related to a higher diabetes risk in those with a higher body mass index, in men and women separately, but not after excluding persons with prevalent diseases.

CONCLUSIONS: This large individual-level meta-analysis among persons who reported alcohol consumption revealed that the preference for beer, wine, and spirits was similarly associated with diabetes incidence compared with having no preference.

European Journal of Clinical Nutrition advance online publication, 22 February 2017; doi:10.1038/ejcn.2017.4

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