Page last updated: October 31, 2017
Moderate alcohol consumption and atherosclerosis

A meta-analysis was conducted to summarise the association between moderate alcohol consumption and atherosclerosis.

In the study four databases and reference lists of retrieved articles were searched to identify eligible studies. A meta-analysis was carried out of all interventional studies that assessed the effects of moderate alcohol consumption on concentrations of low-density lipoprotein cholesterol, high-density lipoprotein cholesterol, triglycerides, apolipoprotein A I, interleukin 6, plasminogen activator inhibitor 1, fibrinogen, and other biomarkers previously found to be associated with risk of atherosclerosis.

A total of 31 studies met the eligibility criteria. In response to moderate alcohol consumption, low density lipoprotein cholesterol decreased by 0.08 mmol/l (P = 0.05), and high density lipoprotein cholesterol increased by 0.08 mmol/l (P < 0.00001), whereas total cholesterol and triglyceride remained the same. Moreover, interleukin 6 decreased by 0.43 pg/ml (P = 0.03), whereas C-reactive protein and tumour necrosis factor a remained the same. Several hemostatic factors and adiponectin were modestly affected by alcohol consumption.

Moderate alcohol consumption is causally related to lower risk of atherosclerosis through changes in lipid profiles and inflammation, the researchers conclude.

Source: Moderate alcohol consumption and atherosclerosis: meta-analysis of effects on lipids and inflammation Huang Y; Li Y; Zheng S; Yang X; Wang T; Zeng J. Wiener Klinische Wochenschrift. Published early online 31 July 2017

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