26 June 2020 In Cardiovascular System

BACKGROUND: The causal role of alcohol consumption for cardiovascular disease remains unclear. We used Mendelian randomization (MR) to predict the effect of alcohol consumption on 8 cardiovascular diseases.

METHODS: Up to 94 single-nucleotide polymorphisms were used as instrumental variables for alcohol consumption. Genetic association estimates for cardiovascular diseases were obtained from large-scale consortia and UK Biobank. Analyses were conducted using the inverse variance-weighted, weighted median, MR-PRESSO, MR-Egger, and multivariable MR methods.

RESULTS: Genetically predicted alcohol consumption was consistently associated with stroke and peripheral artery disease across the different analyses. The odds ratios (ORs) per 1-SD increase of log-transformed alcoholic drinks per week were 1.27 ([95% CI, 1.12-1.45] P=2.87x10(-4)) for stroke and 3.05 ([95% CI, 1.92-4.85] P=2.30x10(-6)) for peripheral artery disease in the inverse variance-weighted analysis. There was some evidence for positive associations of genetically predicted alcohol consumption with coronary artery disease (OR, 1.16 [95% CI, 1.00-1.36]; P=0.052), atrial fibrillation (OR, 1.17 [95% CI, 1.00-1.37]; P=0.050), and abdominal aortic aneurysm (OR, 2.60 [95% CI, 1.15-5.89]; P=0.022) in the inverse variance-weighted analysis. These associations were somewhat attenuated in multivariable MR analysis adjusted for smoking initiation. There was no evidence of associations of genetically predicted alcohol consumption with heart failure (OR, 1.00 [95% CI, 0.68-1.47]; P=0.996), venous thromboembolism (OR, 1.04 [95% CI, 0.77-1.39]; P=0.810), and aortic valve stenosis (OR, 1.03 [95% CI, 0.56-1.90]; P=0.926).

CONCLUSIONS: This study provides evidence of a causal relationship between higher alcohol consumption and increased risk of stroke and peripheral artery disease. The causal role of alcohol consumption for other cardiovascular diseases requires further research.

05 June 2020 In Cardiovascular System

Previous studies reported an inverse association between healthy dietary patterns (such as Mediterranean diet) and the incidence of cardiovascular events. As the mechanism accounting for cardiovascular disease is prevalently due to the atherothrombosis, where a pivotal role is played by platelet activation, it would be arguable that diets with protective effects against cardiovascular disease exert an anti-atherothrombotic effect via inhibition of platelet activation.

There are several and sparse typologies of studies, which investigated if single nutrients by diets recognized as having cardiovascular protection may exert an antithrombotic effect. The most investigated nutrients are key components of the Mediterranean diets such as fruits and vegetables, fish, olive oil, and wine; other diets with protective effects include nuts and cocoa.

Here we summarize experimental and human interventional studies which investigated the antithrombotic effects of such nutrients in experimental models of thrombosis or analyzed biomarkers of clotting, platelet, and fibrinolysis activation in human; furthermore in vitro studies explored the underlying mechanism at level of several cell lines such as platelets or endothelial cells.

In this context, we analyzed if nutrients affect simultaneously or separately clotting, platelet, and fibrinolysis pathways giving special attention to the relationship between oxidative stress and thrombosis as most nutrients are believed to possess antioxidant properties.

05 June 2020 In Cardiovascular System

BACKGROUND AND AIMS: Many addictive substances, such as tobacco and alcohol, influence atherosclerosis development. Whether or not tobacco's pro-atherosclerotic effect is influenced by alcohol consumption is unknown. We aimed to estimate the impact of alcohol intake on the presence of subclinical atherosclerosis in femoral arteries in smoking and non-smoking middle-aged men.

DESIGN, SETTING AND PARTICIPANTS: Cross-sectional analysis of a subset of the Aragon Workers Health Study (AWHS), comprising 2099 men with mean age 50.9 years without previous cardiovascular disease.

MEASUREMENTS: The presence of plaques in femoral arteries was assessed by high-resolution sonography. Self-reported alcohol consumption over the previous year was measured with a food frequency questionnaire. The sample was divided into four groups according to their daily grams of alcohol consumption /= 2 to < 30, >/= 30 to < 60 and >/= 60 g/day. Participants were divided on ever-smoking (current and former) versus never-smoking strata in the main analysis.

FINDINGS: We did not find a significant association between the different levels of alcohol intake and the likelihood of developing femoral artery atherosclerosis in never-smokers. Ever-smoking was positively associated with femoral atherosclerosis overall [odds ratio (OR) = 3.00; 95% confidence interval (CI) = 2.40, 3.74; P < 0.001] and within each level of alcohol consumption. Atherosclerosis was lower in ever-smokers who consumed 2 g/day or more but less than 30 g/day with respect to those ever-smokers who were abstainers (OR = 0.70; 95% CI = 0.49, 0.99; P < 0.05). However, among these ever-smokers, atherosclerosis prevalence was still higher than among never-smokers who consumed alcohol in the same amount (2 g/day or more but less than 30 g/day) (OR = 2.73; 95% CI = 2.07, 3.61; P < 0.001).

CONCLUSIONS: Among middle-aged men, moderate alcohol consumption appears to be associated with lower prevalence of femoral artery subclinical atherosclerosis compared with alcohol abstinence only in ever-smokers.

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.

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