26 August 2022 In Cardiovascular System

We examined whether the often-reported protective association of alcohol with cardiovascular disease (CVD) risk could arise from confounding. Our sample comprised 908 men (56-67 years), free of prevalent CVD. Participants were categorized into 6 groups: never drinkers, former drinkers, and very light (1-4 drinks in past 14 days), light (5-14 drinks), moderate (15-28 drinks), and at-risk (>28 drinks) drinkers.

Generalized linear mixed effect models examined the associations of alcohol use with three established CVD risk scores: The Framingham Risk Score (FRS); the atherosclerotic CVD (ASCVD) risk score; and the Metabolic Syndrome (MetS) Severity score, adjusting for group differences in demographics, body size, and health-related behaviors. In separate models we additionally adjusted for several groups of potentially explanatory factors including socioeconomic status, social support, physical and mental health status, childhood factors, and prior history of alcohol misuse.

Results showed lower CVD risk among light and moderate alcohol drinkers, relative to very light drinkers, for all CVD risk scores, independent of demographics, body size, and health-related behaviors. Alcohol-CVD risk associations were robust to further adjustment for several groups of potential explanatory factors.

Study limitations include the all-male sample with limited racial and ethnic diversity, and the inability to adjust for sugar consumption and for patterns of alcohol consumption.

Although this observational study does not address causation, results show that middle-aged men who consume alcohol in moderation have lower CVD risk and better cardiometabolic health than men who consume little or no alcohol, independent of a variety of health, behavioral, psychosocial, and earlier life factors.

26 August 2022 In Cardiovascular System

AIMS: The association between low-to-moderate alcohol consumption and atrial fibrillation (AF) has yet to be fully elucidated. The main purpose of this meta-analysis was to estimate the risk of incident AF related to low-to-moderate alcohol consumption.

METHODS AND RESULTS: A meta-analysis was performed on 13 publications discussing the estimated risk for AF with habitual low-to-moderate alcohol intake in 10 266 315 participants. Graphical augmentations to the funnel plots were used to illustrate the potential impact of additional evidence on the current meta-analysis. Thirteen eligible studies were included in this meta-analysis. We found that moderate alcohol consumption was associated with an increased risk of incident AF in males [hazard ratio (HR) 1.09, 95% confidence interval (CI): 1.07-1.11, P < 0.00001], Europeans (HR 1.32, 95% CI: 1.23-1.42, P < 0.00001), and Asians (HR 1.09, 95% CI: 1.07-1.11, P < 0.00001). Moderate beer consumption was associated with an increased risk of developing AF (HR 1.11, 95% CI: 1.02-1.21, P = 0.01). Low alcohol consumption conferred an increased risk of AF in males (HR 1.14, 95% CI: 1.01-1.28, P = 0.04) and Europeans (HR 1.12, 95% CI: 1.07-1.17, P < 0.00001).

CONCLUSIONS: This analysis represents the increased risk of incident AF in males, Europeans, and Asians at moderate alcohol consumption levels and in males and Europeans at low alcohol consumption levels. Those who drink any preferred alcohol beverage at moderate levels should be cautious for incident AF. More studies are warranted to find those factors that influence alcohol's effect on predisposing AF.

26 August 2022 In Cardiovascular System

BACKGROUND AND AIMS: Alcohol consumption has complex effects on myocardial infarction (MI) and ischemic stroke. We investigated the difference in associations according to drinking patterns (drinking frequency vs. amount per occasion) and sex.

METHODS: This population-based retrospective study included 11,595,191 subjects participating in national health examinations between 2009 and 2010. Using Cox regression analyses, we calculated MI and ischemic stroke risk according to weekly alcohol consumption, drinking frequency, and amount per occasion.

RESULTS: For MI, all weekly alcohol consumption amounts showed lower risk compared to non-drinkers: mild (adjusted hazard ratio [aHR], 0.78; 95% confidence intervals [CI], 0.77-0.79), moderate (aHR, 0.71; 95% CI, 0.70-0.73), and heavy (aHR, 0.74; 95% CI, 0.72-0.76). Drinking frequency and amount per occasion did not differ in MI risk. However, women showed increased risk with heavy drinking and >/=8 drinks per occasion. For ischemic stroke, a J-shaped association was observed for weekly alcohol consumption: mild (aHR, 0.91; 95% CI, 0.90-0.92), moderate (aHR, 0.94; 95% CI, 0.93-0.96), and heavy (aHR, 1.04; 95% CI, 1.02-1.06). Among women, ischemic stroke risk began to increase with moderate drinking. Given similar weekly alcohol consumption levels, ischemic stroke risk increased with higher frequency of drinking, not with amount per occasion.

CONCLUSIONS: Drinking frequency may be a more important risk factor for ischemic stroke than amount per occasion. Among women, the protective effect of alcohol against MI was not evident in heavy amounts, and the risk of ischemic stroke began to increase at lower levels compared to men.

26 August 2022 In Cardiovascular System

BACKGROUND: The effect of serial change in alcohol consumption on stroke risk has been limitedly evaluated. We investigated the association of change in alcohol consumption with risk of stroke.

METHODS: This study is a population-based retrospective cohort study from National Health Insurance Service database of all Koreans. Four lakh five hundred thirteen thousand seven hundred forty-six participants aged >/=40 years who underwent 2 subsequent national health examinations in both 2009 and 2011. Alcohol consumption was assessed by average alcohol intake (g/day) based on self-questionnaires and categorized into non-, mild, moderate, and heavy drinking. Change in alcohol consumption was defined by shift of category from baseline. Cox proportional hazards model was used with adjustment for age, sex, smoking status, regular exercise, socioeconomic information, and comorbidities, Charlson Comorbidity Index, systolic blood pressure, and laboratory results. Subgroup analysis among those with the third examination was conducted to reflect further change in alcohol consumption.

RESULTS: During 28 424 497 person-years of follow-up, 74 923 ischemic stroke events were identified. Sustained mild drinking was associated with a decreased risk of ischemic stroke (adjusted hazard ratio, 0.88 [95% CI, 0.86-0.90]) compared with sustained nondrinking, whereas sustained heavy drinking was associated with an increased risk of ischemic stroke (adjusted hazard ratio, 1.06 [95% CI, 1.02-1.10]). Increasing alcohol consumption was associated with an increased risk of ischemic stroke (adjusted hazard ratio, 1.11 [95% CI, 1.06-1.17] from mild to moderate; adjusted hazard ratio, 1.28 [95% CI, 1.19-1.38] from mild to heavy) compared with sustained mild drinkers. Reduction of alcohol consumption from heavy to mild level was associated with 17% decreased risk of ischemic stroke through 3x of examinations.

CONCLUSIONS: Light-to-moderate alcohol consumption is associated with a decreased risk of ischemic stroke, although it might be not causal and could be impacted by sick people abstaining from drinking. Reduction of alcohol consumption from heavy drinking is associated with a decreased risk of ischemic stroke.

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