Page last updated:November 27, 2013
Alcohol consumption significantly reduces the incidence of the metabolic syndrome in US men

A study examined the association between alcohol consumption and incident metabolic syndrome (MetS) in a population of US men.

The prospective study included 7,483 Caucasian men, who were free of the MetS and cardiovascular disease at baseline. Information was collected on alcohol consumption, health status and fitness level at an initial clinical examination. Additional health information and determination of incident cases of the MetS were obtained at follow-up clinical examinations between 1979 and 2005.

Compared with non-drinkers, the multivariate hazard ratios of the MetS for light (1-3 drinks/week), moderate (4-7 drinks/week), moderate-heavy (8-13 drinks/week) and heavy (>/= 14 drinks/week) drinkers were 0.81,0 0.68, 0.70, and 0.78, respectively. This association was seen across age groups, in men with one or more pre-existing MetS risk factors, and those with BMI >/= 25 kg/m2, and in all alcohol beverage types at most levels of alcohol consumption.

An inverse dose-response association between alcohol consumption and low HDL concentrations was observed, while significant associations were observed between high fasting glucose concentrations and moderate, moderate–heavy and heavy levels of alcohol consumption. Alcohol consumption was not significantly associated with central obesity, hypertriacylglycerolaemia or hypertension.

All levels of alcohol consumption provided significant protective associations against the incidence of the MetS. In particular, this effect was observed in overweight and/or obese individuals, in those who had pre-existing risk factors for the MetS, and extended across all types of alcoholic beverages consumed.

Source: Prospective study of alcohol consumption and the incidence of the metabolic syndrome in US men. Stoutenberg M; Lee DC; Sui X; Hooker S; Horigian V; Perrino T; Blair S British Journal of Nutrition Vol 110, No 5, 2013, pp901-910.

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