26 November 2015 In Cardiovascular System

BACKGROUND: We assessed the still unclear effect of the overall alcohol-drinking pattern, beyond the amount of alcohol consumed, on the incidence of cardiovascular clinical disease (CVD).

METHODS: We followed 14,651 participants during up to 14 years. We built a score assessing simultaneously seven dimensions of alcohol consumption to capture the conformity to a traditional Mediterranean alcohol-drinking pattern (MADP). It positively scored moderate alcohol intake, alcohol intake spread out over the week, low spirit consumption, preference for wine, red wine consumption, wine consumed during meals and avoidance of binge drinking.

RESULTS: During 142,177 person-years of follow-up, 127 incident cases of CVD (myocardial infarction, stroke or cardiovascular mortality) were identified. Compared with the category of better conformity with the MADP, the low-adherence group exhibited a non-significantly higher risk (HR) of total CVD ((95% CI) = 1.55 (0.58-4.16)). This direct association with a departure from the traditional MADP was even stronger for cardiovascular mortality (HR (95% CI) = 3.35 (0.77-14.5)). Nevertheless, all these associations were statistically non-significant.

CONCLUSION: Better conformity with the MADP seemed to be associated with lower cardiovascular risk in most point estimates; however, no significant results were found and more powered studies are needed to clarify the role of the MADP on CVD.

26 November 2015 In Cardiovascular System
OBJECTIVE: We undertook a population-based, case-control study to examine a dose-response relationship between alcohol intake and risk of ischemic stroke in Koreans who had different alcoholic beverage type preferences than Western populations and to examine the effect modifications by sex and ischemic stroke subtypes. METHODS: Cases (n = 1,848) were recruited from patients aged 20 years or older with first-ever ischemic stroke. Stroke-free controls (n = 3,589) were from the fourth and fifth Korean National Health and Nutrition Examination Survey and were matched to the cases by age (+/-3 years), sex, and education level. All participants completed an interview using a structured questionnaire about alcohol intake. RESULTS: Light to moderate alcohol intake, 3 or 4 drinks (1 drink = 10 g ethanol) per day, was significantly associated with a lower odds of ischemic stroke after adjusting for potential confounders (no drinks: reference;
16 October 2015 In Cardiovascular System

BACKGROUND AND PURPOSE: Alcohol consumption is common in the United States and may confer beneficial cardiovascular effects at light-to-moderate doses. The alcohol-stroke relationship remains debated. We estimated the relationship between midlife, self-reported alcohol consumption and ischemic stroke and intracerebral hemorrhage (ICH) in a biracial cohort.

METHODS: We examined 12 433 never and current drinkers in the Atherosclerosis Risk in Communities study, aged 45 to 64 years at baseline. Participants self-reported usual drinks per week of beer, wine, and liquor at baseline. We used multivariate Cox proportional hazards regression to assess the association of current alcohol consumption relative to lifetime abstention with incident ischemic stroke and ICH and modification by sex-race group. We modeled alcohol intake with quadratic splines to further assess dose-response relationships.

RESULTS: One third of participants self-reported abstention, 39% and 24%, respectively, consumed </=3 and 4 to 17 drinks/wk, and only 5% reported heavier drinking. There were 773 ischemic strokes and 81 ICH over follow-up (median approximately 22.6 years). For ischemic stroke, light and moderate alcohol consumption were not associated with incidence (hazard ratios, 0.98; 95% CI, 0.79-1.21; 1.06, 0.84-1.34), whereas heavier drinking was associated with a 31% increased rate relative to abstention (hazard ratios, 1.31; 95% CI, 0.92-1.86). For ICH, moderate-to-heavy (hazard ratios, 1.99; 95% CI, 1.07-3.70), but not light, consumption increased incidence.

CONCLUSIONS: Self-reported light-to-moderate alcohol consumption at midlife was not associated with reduced stroke risk compared with abstention over 20 years of follow-up in the Atherosclerosis Risk in Communities study. Heavier consumption increased the risk for both outcomes as did moderate intake for ICH.

16 October 2015 In Cardiovascular System

BACKGROUND: Alcohol consumption is proposed to be the third most important modifiable risk factor for death and disability. However, alcohol consumption has been associated with both benefits and harms, and previous studies were mostly done in high-income countries. We investigated associations between alcohol consumption and outcomes in a prospective cohort of countries at different economic levels in five continents.

METHODS: We included information from 12 countries participating in the Prospective Urban Rural Epidemiological (PURE) study, a prospective cohort study of individuals aged 35-70 years. We used Cox proportional hazards regression to study associations with mortality (n=2723), cardiovascular disease (n=2742), myocardial infarction (n=979), stroke (n=817), alcohol-related cancer (n=764), injury (n=824), admission to hospital (n=8786), and for a composite of these outcomes (n=11 963).

FINDINGS: We included 114 970 adults, of whom 12 904 (11%) were from high-income countries (HICs), 24 408 (21%) were from upper-middle-income countries (UMICs), 48 845 (43%) were from lower-middle-income countries (LMICs), and 28 813 (25%) were from low-income countries (LICs). Median follow-up was 4.3 years (IQR 3.0-6.0). Current drinking was reported by 36 030 (31%) individuals, and was associated with reduced myocardial infarction (hazard ratio [HR] 0.76 [95% CI 0.63-0.93]), but increased alcohol-related cancers (HR 1.51 [1.22-1.89]) and injury (HR 1.29 [1.04-1.61]). High intake was associated with increased mortality (HR 1.31 [1.04-1.66]). Compared with never drinkers, we identified significantly reduced hazards for the composite outcome for current drinkers in HICs and UMICs (HR 0.84 [0.77-0.92]), but not in LMICs and LICs, for which we identified no reductions in this outcome (HR 1.07 [0.95-1.21]; pinteraction<0.0001).

INTERPRETATION: Current alcohol consumption had differing associations by clinical outcome, and differing associations by income region. However, we identified sufficient commonalities to support global health strategies and national initiatives to reduce harmful alcohol use.

FUNDING: Population Health Research Institute, the Canadian Institutes of Health Research, Heart and Stroke Foundation of Ontario, AstraZeneca (Canada), Sanofi-Aventis (France and Canada), Boehringer Ingelheim (Germany and Canada), Servier, GlaxoSmithKline, Novartis, King Pharma, and national or local organisations in participating countries.

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