An analysis used a summative multisystem index of biologic risk, known as allostatic load (AL), to evaluate whether the overall balance of alcoholassociated positive and negative cardiovascular risk factors may be favourable or unfavourable.
This analysis included 1255 adults from the Midlife in the United States (MIDUS) biomarker substudy. Participants, with an average age 54.5 (±11) years, were divided into 6 alcohol-use categories based on self-reported drinking habits. Current nondrinkers were classified as lifelong abstainers and former light drinkers, former moderate drinkers, or former heavy drinkers. Current alcohol users were classified as light, moderate, or heavy drinkers. 37.6% individuals were current non-drinkers and 62.4% were current drinkers. A total AL score was calculated using 24 biomarkers grouped into 7 physiologic systems including cardiovascular, inflammation, glucose metabolism, lipid metabolism, sympathetic and parasympathetic nervous systems, and the hypothalamic-pituitaryadrenal axis.
In adjusted mixed-effects regression models, all 3 groups of current drinkers had significantly lower average AL scores than the lifelong abstainer/ former light drinker group (light: -0.23, 95% CI -0.40, -0.07, p < 0.01; moderate: -0.20, 95% CI -0.38, -0.02, p < 0.05; heavy: -0.30, 95% CI -0.57, -0.04, p < 0.05), while the average AL scores of former moderate and former heavy drinkers did not differ from the lifelong abstainer/former light drinker group. Current alcohol use is associated cross-sectionally with a favourable multisystem physiologic score known to be associated with better long-term health outcomes, providing evidence in support of long-term health benefits related to moderate and regular alcohol consumption.
Source: Compared to non-drinkers, individuals who drink alcohol have a more favorable multisystem physiologic risk score as measured by allostatic load. Deena Goldwater, Arun Karlamangla, Sharon Stein Merkin, Teresa Seeman.PLoS ONE 14(9):e0223168.· September 2019 open access. doi.org/10.1371/journal. pone.0223168