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Arterioscler Thromb Vasc Biol. 2006 Jul;26(7):1607-12. Epub 2006 Apr 20.

Coronary atherosclerosis and alcohol consumption: angiographic and mortality data.

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  • 1Department of Internal Medicine and CNR Institute of Clinical Physiology, University of Pisa School of Medicine, Pisa, Italy.

Abstract

OBJECTIVE:

Moderate alcohol consumption is associated with reduced cardiovascular disease (CVD) risk. Whether this protection is based on a lesser degree of coronary atherosclerosis has not been established.

METHODS AND RESULTS:

We studied 1676 men and 465 women consecutively undergoing coronary angiography. A score (ATS) was calculated by summing the percent lumen narrowing of all main vessels; alcohol consumption was quantitated by questionnaire. In univariate analysis, ATS was significantly (P< or = 0.001) associated with male sex, age, familial CVD, smoking, diabetes, hypertension, and serum cholesterol levels; alcohol consumption was associated with less frequent diabetes (P<0.001) and lower ATS (P = 0.02). By multivariate analysis, alcohol intake was associated with lower ATS (P<0.01) independently of the other risk factors; the estimated effect size was comparable to that associated with a 1-mmol decrement in serum cholesterol. Over a median follow-up of 93 months, 37 women and 194 men died from a cardiac cause. By Cox analysis, positive predictors for cardiac mortality were male sex (hazard ratio [HR], 1.7; 95% confidence interval [CI], 1.1 to 2.6]), age (HR, 2.1; 95% CI, 1.8 to 2.5 per decade) and diabetes (HR, 1.7; 95% CI, 1.2 to 2.4), whereas alcohol consumption was the only negative predictor (HR, 0.84; 95% CI, 0.71 to 1.00).

CONCLUSIONS:

In a selected high-risk population, moderate alcohol consumption was independently associated with less coronary atherosclerosis and lower risk for cardiac mortality.

PMID:
16627806
[PubMed - indexed for MEDLINE]
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