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Alcohol drinking patterns and biomarkers of coronary risk in the Spanish population

13 Jan 2014

Abstract: Background and aims: To estimate the association between patterns of alcohol consumption and biomarkers of coronary heart disease (CHD) risk.Methods and results: Cross-sectional study among 10,793 individuals representative of the Spanish population aged ≥18 years. The threshold between moderate and heavy drinking was 40 g of alcohol/day in men and 24 g/day in women. Binge drinking was defined as intake of ≥80 g of alcohol in men and ≥60 g in women at any drinking occasion in the preceding 30 days. Analyses were performed with generalized linear models with adjustment for the main confounders, and results were expressed as the percentage change in the geometric mean (PCGM). Compared to non-drinkers, moderate and heavy drinkers had progressively higher serum HDL-cholesterol, with a PCGM ranging from 4.8% (95% CI: 3.7–6.0%) in moderate drinkers without binge drinking (MNB) to 9.6% (5.1–14.2%) in heavy drinkers with binge drinking (HB). Fibrinogen decreased progressively with alcohol intake, from −2.2% (−3.1 to −1.3%) in MNB to −5.8% (−9.4 to −2.0%) in HB. Leptin, glycated hemoglobin and the HOMA-index also decreased with increasing alcohol intake, and particularly with binge drinking.Conclusions: Moderate alcohol intake is associated with improved HDL-cholesterol, fibrinogen and markers of glucose metabolism, which is consistent with the reduced CHD risk of moderate drinkers in many studies. Heavy and binge drinking were also associated with favorable levels of CHD biomarkers; since these drinking patterns produce substantial health harms, our results should not be used to promote alcohol consumption.

Date: 
13 January 2014

Click here to view the full article which appeared in Nutrition, Metabolism & Cardiovascular Diseases