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Alcohol consumption and outcome in stable outpatients with peripheral artery disease
The influence of alcohol consumption on outcome in patients with peripheral artery disease (PAD) has not been thoroughly studied. Factores de Riesgo y ENfermedad Arterial (FRENA) is an ongoing, multicenter, observational registry of consecutive stable outpatients with arterial disease. A study compared the mortality rate and the incidence of subsequent ischemic events in patients with PAD, according to their alcohol habits.
In August 2010, 1,073 patients with PAD were recruited, of whom 863 (80%) had intermittent claudication (Fontaine stage II), 102 (9.5%) had rest pain (Fontaine stage III), and 108 (10%) had ischemic skin lesions (Fontaine stage IV). In all, 422 patients (39%) consumed alcohol during the study period.
Over a mean follow-up of 13 months, 150  patients (14%) developed subsequent ischemic events (myocardial infarction 28, stroke 30, disabling claudication/critical limb ischemia 100), and 70 patients (6.5%) died. The incidence of subsequent events was the same in both subgroups: 11.8 events per 100 patient-years (rate ratio: 1.00), but the mortality rate was significantly lower in alcohol consumers than in non-consumers: 2.78 vs 6.58 deaths per 100 patient-years (rate ratio: 0.42). This better outcome was consistently found in patients with Fontaine stages II and III or IV, and persisted after multivariate adjustment (relative risk: 0.49).
The study concludes that in patients with PAD, moderate alcohol consumption was associated with lower cardiovascular mortality and overall mortality than abstention. They suggest that these patients should be informed that low to moderate alcohol consumption may not be harmful to their health.
Source: “Alcohol consumption and outcome in stable outpatients with peripheral artery disease”, Garcia Diaz AM; Marchena PJ; Toril J; Arnedo G; Munoz Torrero JF; Yeste M; Aguilar E; Monreal M. Journal of Vascular Surgery, Vol 54, No 4, 2011, pp1081-1087
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