Level of alcohol consumption is associated with differential risk of atherosclerosis, but little research has investigated this association among HIV+ persons. A team of researchers evaluated the association between long-term alcohol use and incident atherosclerosis among HIV+ persons.
Data was taken from HIV+ participants of the Women’s Interagency HIV Study (n=4,83) and the Multicenter AIDS Cohort Study (n=305) without history of cardiovascular disease. Atherosclerosis was assessed two times by B-mode carotid artery ultrasound imaging from 2004 to 2013. Presence of plaque was defined as focal carotid intima-media thickness over 1.5mm. Those with no plaque at baseline and plaque at follow-up were considered incident cases of atherosclerosis. Group-based trajectory models were used to categorise participants into 10-year drinking patterns representing heavy, moderate, or abstinent-low. Multivariable logistic regressions were conducted to assess the association of longterm moderate and heavy use on atherosclerosis, compared to abstinent-low.
Heavy alcohol consumption was not statistically significantly associated with risk for incident atherosclerosis in women (AOR 1.10, CI 0.40-3.02) or men (AOR 1.31, CI 0.43-4.00), compared to abstinencelow. Moderate consumption was associated with 54% lower odds for incident disease in men (AOR 0.46, CI 0.21-1.00), but not in women (AOR 1.08, CI 0.58-2.00). In cohort-combined analyses, alcohol consumption was not statistically significantly association with incident atherosclerosis (moderate AOR 0.78, CI 0.48- 1.27; heavy AOR 1.33, CI 0.66-2.69).
The researchers conclude that moderate alcohol consumption was associated with a significant protective effect on incident atherosclerosis in men. No other levels of alcohol consumption significantly predicted atherosclerosis in men and women compared to abstinent-low. Source: The impact of long-term moderate and heavy alcohol consumption on incident atherosclerosis among persons living with HIV. Kelso-Chichetto NE, Plankey M, Sheps DS, Abraham AG, Chen X, Shoptaw S, Kaplan RC, Post WS, Cook RL. Drug Alcohol Depend. 2017 Dec 1;181:235-241. . Epub 2017 Oct 28.