Page last updated:June 2022
Longitudinal associations between alcohol intake and arterial stiffness, pressure wave reflection, and inflammation

A prospective observational study, which utilised repeated annual measurements performed over a 9-year period, applied mixed model analyses to examine age-related differences in longitudinal associations between alcohol intake and arterial stiffness, pressure wave reflection, and inflammation.
In 4,016 middle-aged healthy Japanese male employees, alcohol intake, brachial-ankle pulse wave velocity (baPWV), radial augmentation index (rAI), and serum C-reactive protein (CRP) levels were measured annually during a 9-year study period.
The estimated marginal mean baPWV (non-drinkers=1306 cm/s, mild-moderate drinkers=1311 cm/s, and heavy drinkers=1337 cm/s) and that of rAI showed significant stepped increases in an alcohol dose-dependent manner in the entire cohort, but an increase in rAI was not observed in subjects aged ≥ 50 years. The estimated slope of the annual increase in baPWV, but not rAI, was higher for heavy drinkers than for non-drinkers, especially for subjects aged <50 years.
The study authors conclude that in middle-aged male Japanese employees, alcohol intake may attenuate inflammatory activity. While excess alcohol intake may exacerbate the progression of arterial stiffening in a dose-dependent manner without mediating inflammation, especially in subjects under 50 years of age, it may promote pressure wave reflection abnormalities with aging at earlier ages without further exacerbation at older ages.
Source: Shiina K, Takahashi T, Nakano H, Fujii M, Iwasaki Y, Matsumoto C, Yamashina A, Chikamori T, Tomiyama H. Longitudinal Associations between Alcohol Intake and Arterial Stiffness, Pressure Wave Reflection, and Inflammation. J Atheroscler Thromb. 2022 Apr 28.
All text and images © 2003 Alcohol In Moderation.