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Arterioscler Thromb Vasc Biol. 1999 Apr;19(4):887-92.

Fibrinogen: a possible link between alcohol consumption and cardiovascular disease? DESIR Study Group.

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  • 1INSERM Unit 21 and the Faculty of Medicine Paris-Sud, Villejuif IRSA, La Riche, France.


The relation between alcohol consumption and fibrinogen concentration was evaluated in a French population to investigate whether fibrinogen could explain part of the relation between alcohol consumption and cardiovascular disease. Cross-sectional data on self-reported alcohol consumption and fibrinogen, measured by the immunonephelometric method, of 4967 men and women aged 30 to 64 years were used. These subjects were volunteers for a free health checkup in the western central part of France from 1994 to 1996 and participated in the DESIR Study (Data from an Epidemiological Study on the Insulin Resistance syndrome). Alcohol consumption was strongly associated with fibrinogen concentration, with higher concentrations in those who were nondrinkers or who drank >60 g of alcohol per day. This U-shaped association was stronger among men than women. Consumption of wine and spirits was associated with fibrinogen, whereas consumption of beer or cider was not. Furthermore, smoking was positively associated with fibrinogen concentration, and in men the difference between nondrinkers and drinkers with the lowest fibrinogen level was higher in nonsmokers and ex-smokers than in current smokers. We conclude that moderate drinking may lower fibrinogen concentration. If fibrinogen is a causal risk factor for cardiovascular disease, it may be 1 of the variables that explain the protective effect of moderate alcohol consumption on cardiovascular disease.

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