Page last updated: Wednesday, November 19, 2008
Raised blood pressure modifies the association between alcohol intake and the progression of arterial stiffness: A 6-year observational study
Summary: The authors state that a J-shaped association between alcohol intake and cardiovascular events has been reported. Increased arterial stiffness is a cardiovascular risk, and raised blood pressure (RBP) (>130/85 mmHg) is associated with a progressive increase of arterial stiffness. The present prospective study was conducted to examine the association between alcohol intake and the progression of arterial stiffness, and also clarify whether RBP modifies this association over a period of 6 years. The brachial-ankle PWV was measured and alcohol intake was determined by interview on three occasions, at an interval of 3 years, in Japanese male subjects without RBP (n=955) and those with RBP (n=601) (age, 40±8 years, 1279 men and 287 women).

According to the results of the interviews on three occasions, the subjects were categorized according to their daily alcohol intake into three groups {non-drinker group (Non), light-moderate (LiMo) and heavy (Heavy) alcohol intake groups}. In subjects without RBP, the increase of the PWV during 6 years’ follow-up was lower in the LiMo group than in the Non group, even after adjusting changes in atherosclerotic risk factors (p<0.05); however, no such attenuation was observed in the subjects with RBP. On the other hands, in subjects with RBP, the increase of the PWV during a 6 year follow up was higher in the Heavy group than in other two groups (Figure).

The authors conclude that light-moderate alcohol intake may have a vasculo-protective effect against structural arterial stiffening in subjects without RBP. In the presence of RBP, however, this protective effect is blunted and heavy alcohol intake seems to be rather harmful in middle-aged subjects.

Comments: In both non-hypertensive and borderline hypertensive groups, subjects with light-to-moderate intake had the most favorable level of arterial stiffness, which is a risk factor for atherosclerosis and coronary heart disease. In this study, heavy alcohol intake was associated with increased blood pressure among subjects with hypertension at baseline, but had little effect on blood pressure for people not hypertensive. Further, heavy drinking was associated with increasing degrees of arterial stiffness over time among subjects with raised blood pressure.

Source: Raised blood pressure modifies the association between alcohol intake and the progression of arterial stiffness: A 6-year observational study. Matsumoto C, Tomiyama H, Yamada J, Yoshida M . . . Yamashina A. Abstracts related to alcohol consumption from the scientific sessions of the American Heart Association, October 4-7, 2007 reviewed by R Curtis Ellison Abst 2931

no website link
All text and images © 2003 Alcohol In Moderation.