06 May 2014 In Cardiovascular System

BACKGROUND AND PURPOSE: Heavy alcohol consumption increases the risk for all strokes, whereas moderate regular alcohol consumption is associated with a lower risk for ischemic stroke. The purpose of this study was to evaluate the effect of different drinking patterns on stroke risk, independent of average alcohol intake.

METHODS: A prospective cohort study of 15 965 Finnish men and women age 25 to 64 years who participated in a national risk factor survey and had no history of stroke at baseline were followed up for a 10-year period. The first stroke event during follow-up served as the outcome of interest (N=249 strokes). A binge drinking pattern was defined as consuming 6 or more drinks of the same alcoholic beverage in men or 4 or more drinks in women in 1 session. Cox proportional-hazards models were adjusted for average alcohol consumption, age, sex, hypertension, smoking, diabetes, body mass index, educational status, study area, study year, and history of myocardial infarction.

RESULTS: Binge drinking was an independent risk factor for total and ischemic strokes. Compared with non-binge drinkers, the hazard ratio for total strokes among binge drinkers was 1.85 (95% CI, 1.35 to 2.54) after adjusting for average alcohol consumption, age, and sex; the association was diluted after adjustment for other risk factors. Compared with non-binge drinkers, the risk for ischemic stroke was 1.99 (95% CI, 1.39 to 2.87) among binge drinkers; the association remained statistically significant after adjustment for potential confounders.

CONCLUSIONS: This study found that a pattern of binge drinking is an independent risk factor for all strokes and ischemic stroke.

06 May 2014 In Cardiovascular System

Individual associations of alcohol consumption and physical activity with cardiovascular disease are relatively established, but the joint associations are not clear. Therefore, the aim of this study was to examine prospectively the joint associations between alcohol consumption and physical activity with cardiovascular mortality (CVM) and all-cause mortality. Four population-based studies in the United Kingdom were included, the 1997 and 1998 Health Surveys for England and the 1998 and 2003 Scottish Health Surveys. In men and women, respectively, low physical activity was defined as 0.1 to 5 and 0.1 to 4 MET-hours/week and high physical activity as >/=5 and >/=4 MET-hours/week. Moderate or moderately high alcohol intake was defined as >0 to 35 and >0 to 21 units/week and high levels of alcohol intake as >35 and >21 units/week. In total, there were 17,410 adults without prevalent cardiovascular diseases and complete data on alcohol and physical activity (43% men, median age 55 years). During a median follow-up period of 9.7 years, 2,204 adults (12.7%) died, 638 (3.7%) with CVM. Cox proportional-hazards models were adjusted for potential confounders such as marital status, social class, education, ethnicity, and longstanding illness. In the joint associations analysis, low activity combined with high levels of alcohol (CVM: hazard ratio [HR] 1.95, 95% confidence interval [CI] 1.28 to 2.96, p = 0.002; all-cause mortality: HR 1.64, 95% CI 1.32 to 2.03, p <0.001) and low activity combined with no alcohol (CVM: HR 1.93, 95% CI 1.35 to 2.76, p <0.001; all-cause mortality: HR 1.50, 95% CI 1.24 to 1.81, p <0.001) were linked to the highest risk, compared with moderate drinking and higher levels of physical activity. Within each given alcohol group, low activity was linked to increased CVM risk (e.g., HR 1.48, 95% CI 1.08 to 2.03, p = 0.014, for the moderate drinking group), but in the presence of high physical activity, high alcohol intake was not linked to increased CVM risk (HR 1.32, 95% CI 0.52 to 3.34, p = 0.555). In conclusion, high levels of drinking and low physical activity appear to increase the risk for cardiovascular and all-cause mortality, although these data suggest that physical activity levels are more important.

06 May 2014 In Cardiovascular System

Although moderate alcohol drinkers have lower rates of incident coronary artery disease than abstainers, much less is known about the health effects of different patterns of alcohol use in women with established coronary artery disease. In the Determinants of Myocardial Infarction Onset Study, 1,253 women hospitalized for acute myocardial infarction (MI) at 64 centers nationwide from 1989 to 1996 were followed for mortality through December 31, 2007. Of the women, 761 (61%) reported abstention in the year before their MIs, 280 (22%) reported consumption of /=3 servings/week. Using Cox proportional-hazards models, the associations between total weekly volume of consumption, drinking days per week, drinks per drinking day, and beverage type with 10-year mortality were investigated, adjusting for clinical and socioeconomic potential confounders. Compared with abstention, adjusted hazard ratios were 0.66 (95% confidence interval 0.50 to 0.86) for /=3 servings/week (p for trend = 0.008). No differences were found by beverage type, and generally inverse associations of drinking frequency and quantity with mortality were found. In conclusion, in women who survive MI, moderate drinking is associated with a decreased risk for mortality, with no clear differences on the basis of pattern or beverage type. These results suggest that women who survive MI need not abstain from alcohol, but any derived benefit would appear to occur well below currently recommended limits in alcohol consumption.

06 May 2014 In Cardiovascular System

BACKGROUND: To evaluate the association of wine intake with incident cardiovascular events (CVE) and total mortality after myocardial infarction (MI).

METHODS: We used prospectively ascertained information among 11,248 Italian patients with recent MI enrolled in the GISSI-Prevenzione Trial. Usual wine consumption has been categorised as never/almost never, up to 0.5L/day, and >0.5L/day. Multiple imputation was used for missing values at baseline and during follow-up. We assessed adjudicated cumulative incidence of major CVE during 3.5years of follow-up and total mortality at long-term follow-up (7.3years), respectively. Multivariate Cox proportional hazards models were fitted to estimate hazard ratios (HR) first using data at baseline and then updated using time-varying covariates.

RESULTS: During 37,021 person-years of follow-up, 1168 CVE occurred. Moderate wine intake at baseline was associated with significantly reduced risk of CVE (adjusted HR 0.87; 95% CI 0.76-0.99) as compared with non-drinkers. In time-updated analyses, results were virtually the same, though they were barely statistically not significant (adjusted HR 0.88; 95% CI 0.77-1.00). Wine intake was associated with lower risk of total mortality. In time-updated adjusted analyses, patients with wine consumption up to 0.5L/day (HR 0.83; 95% CI 0.74-0.92) and >0.5L/day (HR 0.77; 95% CI 0.63-0.94) had lower mortality compared with non-drinkers (P for trend=0.0003).

CONCLUSIONS: Among patients with established heart disease, moderate consumption of wine seems to be associated with lower incidence of CVE and total mortality as compared with non drinkers.

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