Arterial stiffness and increased intima-media wall thickness are two of the main predictors of cardiovascular disease (CVD). A study evaluated whether brachial-ankle pulse wave velocity (baPWV) and common carotid artery intima-media wall thickness (CCA-IMT) are correlated with alcohol consumption in a cross-sectional study among Korean men and women aged 40 years and over.
The study included 5539 subjects (2121 men and 3418 women) drawn from the Multi-Rural Communities cohort (MRcohort) study, a part of the Korean Genome Epidemiology Study (KoGES). It was found that baPWV was positively correlated with alcohol consumption in men (p for trend < 0.0001). Age (middle-aged versus elderly) modified the effect of alcohol consumption on PWV. On the other hand CCA-IMT decreased with alcohol consumption in men. There was no favorable zone of alcohol consumption in terms of baPWV and CCA-IMT. Adjustment for lipid profiles substantially attenuated the relationship between alcohol consumption and CCA-IMT. There was no clear relation between alcohol consumption and baPWV/CCA-IMT in women.
Along with a linear harmful relationship between alcohol consumption and arterial stiffness in men there may also be a beneficial relationship between alcohol consumption and carotid intima-wall thickness, the authors conclude. The effect of alcohol on arterial stiffness may be slightly stronger in elderly men, and the effect of alcohol on CCA-IMT may be mediated by lipid factors.
Source: Harmful and beneficial relationships between alcohol consumption and subclinical atherosclerosis. Kim MK; Shin J; Kweon SS; Shin DH; Lee YH; Chun BY; Choi BY, Nutrition Metabolism and Cardiovascular Diseases, Vol 24, No 7, 2014, pp767-776.