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Alcohol and ideal cardiovascular health: The multi-ethnic study of atherosclerosis

The authors of a paper published in the journal Clinical Cardiology state that alcohol consumption is associated with cardiovascular disease (CVD), with moderate drinkers having decreased CVD risk compared to non- and heavy drinkers. However, whether alcohol consumption is associated with ideal cardiovascular health (CVH), assessed by the AHA Life’s Simple 7 (LS7) metrics, and whether associations differ by sex, is uncertain.

The research explored associations between alcohol consumption and CVH in a multi-ethnic population including 6,506 participants free of CVD, aged 45-84 years. Each LS7 metric was scored 0-2 points. Total score was categorised as inadequate (0-8), average (9-10) and optimal (11- 14). Participants were classified as never, former or current drinkers. Current drinkers were categorized as <1 (light), 1-2 (moderate) and >2 (heavy) drinks/ day.

Multinomial logistic regression models assessed associations between alcohol and CVH, adjusted for age, sex, race/ethnicity, education, income and health insurance.

Compared to never drinkers, those with >2 drinks/ day were less likely to have average [OR 0.61 (0.43- 0.87)] or optimal CVH [0.29 (0.17-0.49)]. Binge drinking was associated with unfavourable CVH. Overall, there was no independent association for light or moderate drinking with CVH. However, women with 1-2 drinks/day were more likely to have optimal CVH [1.85 (1.19-2.88) compared to non-drinking women, which was not seen in men. Heavy drinking or binge drinking of alcohol was associated with unfavourable CVH. Light or moderate drinking was associated with optimal cardiovascular health in women, but this was not statistically evident for men.

Source: Alcohol and Ideal Cardiovascular Health: The Multi-Ethnic Study of Atherosclerosis. Ogunmoroti O, Osibogun O, McClelland RL, Burke GL, Nasir K, Michos ED. Clin Cardiol. 2018 Dec 2.
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