23 September 2021 In Cardiovascular System

The causal effects of alcohol-in-moderation on cardiometabolic health are continuously debated. Mendelian randomization (MR) is an established method to address causal questions in observational studies. We performed a systematic review of the current evidence from MR studies on the association between alcohol consumption and cardiometabolic diseases, all-cause mortality and cardiovascular risk factors. We performed a systematic search of the literature, including search terms on type of design and exposure. We assessed methodological quality based on key elements of the MR design: use of a full instrumental variable analysis and validation of the three key MR assumptions. We additionally looked at exploration of non-linearity. We reported the direction of the studied associations. Our search yielded 24 studies that were eligible for inclusion. A full instrumental variable analysis was performed in 17 studies (71%) and 13 out of 24 studies (54%) validated all three key assumptions. Five studies (21%) assessed potential non-linearity. In general, null associations were reported for genetically predicted alcohol consumption with the primary outcomes cardiovascular disease (67%) and diabetes (75%), while the only study on all-cause mortality reported a detrimental association. Considering the heterogeneity in methodological quality of the included MR studies, it is not yet possible to draw conclusions on the causal role of moderate alcohol consumption on cardiometabolic health. As MR is a rapidly evolving field, we expect that future MR studies, especially with recent developments regarding instrument selection and non-linearity methodology, will further substantiate this discussion.

13 October 2020 In Drinking Patterns
BACKGROUND AND AIMS: Alcohol consumption is an important risk factor for cardiovascular morbidity and mortality worldwide. The highest levels of alcohol consumption are observed in Europe, where alcohol as contributing cause of coronary heart disease (CHD) is also most significant. We aimed to describe alcohol consumption patterns across European regions and adherence to the current guidelines in patients with a recent CHD event. METHODS: The ESC-EORP survey (EUROASPIRE V) has been conducted in 2016-2017 at 131 centers in 27 European countries in 7350 patients with a recent CHD. Median alcohol consumption, as well as the proportion of abstainers and excessive drinkers (i.e. >70 g/week for women and >140 for men, as recommended by the European guidelines on cardiovascular prevention), was calculated for each region. To assess adherence to guidelines, proportions of participants who were advised to reduce excessive alcohol consumption and participants who were incorrectly not advised were calculated per region. RESULTS: Mean age was 64 years (SD: 9.5), 75% were male. Abstention rates were 53% in males and 77% in females, whereas excessive drinking was reported by 9% and 5% of them, respectively. Overall, 57% of the participants were advised to reduce alcohol consumption. In the total population, 3% were incorrectly not advised, however, this percentage differed per region (range: 1%-9%). In regions where alcohol consumption was highest, participants were less often advised to reduce their consumption. CONCLUSION: In this EUROASPIRE V survey, the majority of CHD patients adhere to the current drinking guidelines, but substantial heterogeneity exists between European regions.
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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