22 October 2021 In Cardiovascular System

Alcohol consumption has been shown to have complex, and sometimes paradoxical, associations with cardiovascular diseases (CVDs). Several hundred epidemiological studies on this topic have been published in recent decades. In this narrative review, the epidemiological evidence will be examined for the associations between alcohol consumption, including average alcohol consumption, drinking patterns, and alcohol use disorders, and CVDs, including ischaemic heart disease, stroke, hypertension, atrial fibrillation, cardiomyopathy, and heart failure. Methodological shortcomings, such as exposure classification and measurement, reference groups, and confounding variables (measured or unmeasured) are discussed. Based on systematic reviews and meta-analyses, the evidence seems to indicate non-linear relationships with many CVDs. Large-scale longitudinal epidemiological studies with multiple detailed exposure and outcome measurements, and the extensive assessment of genetic and confounding variables, are necessary to elucidate these associations further. Conflicting associations depending on the exposure measurement and CVD outcome are hard to reconcile, and make clinical and public health recommendations difficult. Furthermore, the impact of alcohol on other health outcomes needs to be taken into account. For people who drink alcohol, the less alcohol consumed the better.

23 November 2020 In Cardiovascular System

BACKGROUND: Stroke is the most common cardiovascular disorder after heart disease and one of the major causes of death and disability. Mediterranean diet has proven to be an effective means to prevent cardiovascular diseases and may contribute to the prevention of stroke. This overview aims to analyze all reviews that examine the association between Mediterranean diet pattern and stroke.

METHODS: We conducted a literature search on PubMed and Scopus databases, using the keywords "Mediterranean diet" and "Stroke". All studies were selected evaluating the association between the Mediterranean diet and the prevention of stroke and only systematic reviews, meta-analysis and narrative reviews were included.

RESULT: 25 eligible articles were included (16 narrative reviews, 9 systematic reviews, 6 systematic reviews with meta-analyses). The authors stated that Mediterranean diet may be a useful means of preventing stroke, especially the 6 meta-analyses highlighted that high adherence to Mediterranean diet was protective against stroke, with a relative risk ranging from 0,64 (95% CI 0,48-0,88) to 0,90 (95% CI 0,87-0,93). Moderate adherence has not shown significant results.

CONCLUSION: A high adherence to the Mediterranean diet is inversely associated with stroke risk, and can modify the costs of its management, therefore the prevention policies should implement adherence to this healthy diet.

25 August 2020 In Cardiovascular System
Cardiovascular disease (CVD) is a leading cause of morbidity and mortality for women. This review summarizes the relationship between alcohol consumption and common CVDs in women and highlights potential differences from men. Except for risk of hypertension, no sex-related effects of alcohol consumption on the risk for coronary heart disease and stroke have been reported, and data on the sex-related effects on risk for peripheral arterial disease are limited. For women, alcohol consumption has a J-shaped relationship with hypertension. About 1 to 2 standard drinks per day is associated with lower risk for the development of hypertension, whereas for men, the relationship is relatively linear. In the area of alcoholic cardiomyopathy, the prevalence is greater for men, but women may develop alcoholic cardiomyopathy at a lower lifetime level of alcohol consumption. Overall, data support that 1 to 2 standard drinks per day for women and men is associated with a lower risk of CVD, and higher daily amounts may increase the risk of CVD.
25 August 2020 In Drinking Patterns

BACKGROUND: Some of the previously reported health benefits of low-to-moderate alcohol consumption may derive from health status influencing alcohol consumption rather than the opposite. We examined whether health status changes influence changes in alcohol consumption, cessation included.

METHODS: Data came from 571 current drinkers aged >/=60 years participating in the Seniors-ENRICA cohort in Spain. Participants were recruited in 2008-2010 and followed-up for 8.2 years, with four waves of data collection. We assessed health status using a 52-item deficit accumulation (DA) index with four domains: functional, self-rated health and vitality, mental health, and morbidity and health services use. To minimise reverse causation, we examined how changes in health status over a 3-year period (wave 0-wave 1) influenced changes in alcohol consumption over the subsequent 5 years (waves 1-3) using linear/logistic regression, as appropriate.

RESULTS: Compared with participants in the lowest tertile of DA change (mean absolute 4.3% health improvement), those in the highest tertile (7.8% worsening) showed a reduction in alcohol intake (beta: -4.32 g/day; 95% CI -7.00 to -1.62; p trend=0.002) and were more likely to quit alcohol (OR: 2.80; 95% CI 1.54 to 5.08; p trend=0.001). The main contributors to decreasing drinking were increased functional impairment and poorer self-rated health, whereas worsening self-rated health, onset of diabetes or stroke and increased prevalence of hospitalisation influenced cessation.

CONCLUSIONS: Health deterioration is related to a subsequent reduction and cessation of alcohol consumption contributing to the growing evidence challenging the protective health effect previously attributed to low-to-moderate alcohol consumption

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