Page last updated: Friday, June 3, 2005
Alcohol Consumption and the Metabolic Syndrome
The metabolic syndrome (MS) is associated with a high risk of cardiovascular disease morbidity and mortality. Light and moderate alcohol consumption have been associated with reduced cardiovascular disease morbidity and mortality. This study examined the association between alcohol consumption and MS, evaluating data from 7,962 Korean adults (3,597 men, 4,365 women) who had participated in the 1998 Korean National Health and Nutrition Examination Survey.

Results showed that the prevalence of MS was 20.8% in men and 26.9% in women. The adjusted odds ratio for MS in the group consuming 1–14.9 g alcohol/d was 0.71 (95% CI: 0.53, 0.95) in men and 0.80 (95% CI: 0.65, 0.98) in women. Alcohol consumption had a significant inverse relation with the odds ratio for low HDL cholesterol in all alcohol groups. In comparison with light drinking, heavy alcohol consumption (>30 g/d) was associated with significantly higher odds ratios for high blood pressure and high triacylglycerol in men and high fasting blood glucose and high triacylglycerol in women. Odds ratios for MS and its components tended to increase with increasing alcohol consumption.

The authors conclude that although alcohol consumption had a significant inverse relation with the odds ratio for low HDL cholesterol in all alcohol groups, an increasing dose-response relation was found between alcohol consumption and the odds ratio for MS. This might be due to the opposite relation of alcohol consumption to other components of the metabolic syndrome.

Yoon YS, Oh SW, Baik HW, Park HS, Kim WY. Alcohol consumption and the metabolic syndrome in Korean adults: the 1998 Korean National Health and Nutrition Examination Survey. Am J Clin Nutr 2004;80:217–224.

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