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Am J Clin Nutr. 2008 May;87(5):1455-63.

Prospective study of alcohol consumption and metabolic syndrome.

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Institute of Human Genomic Study, Korea University Ansan Hospital, Ansan, Republic of Korea.



Alcohol consumption is related to the prevalent metabolic syndrome. Few studies have evaluated the effects of alcohol consumption on the development of metabolic syndrome.


We examined the association between alcohol consumption and incident metabolic syndrome.


This was a prospective cohort study of 3833 male and female Koreans aged 40-69 y and free of the metabolic syndrome at baseline. Information on alcohol consumption was obtained periodically from interviewer-administered questionnaires. Incident cases of the metabolic syndrome were identified by biennial health examinations during 4 y of follow-up between 2003 and 2006.


Compared with nondrinkers, the multivariate relative risk [RR (95% CI)] of the metabolic syndrome for very light drinkers consuming 0.1 to 5 g of alcohol per day (g/d) was 1.06 (0.71, 1.58), that for light drinkers consuming 5.1 to 15 g/d was 1.13 (0.69, 1.83), that for moderate drinkers consuming 15.1 to 30 g/d was 1.25 (0.75, 2.09), and that for heavy drinkers consuming >30 g/d was 1.63 (1.02, 2.62). All individual components of the metabolic syndrome were significantly associated with heavy drinking, particularly among heavy liquor drinkers.


Heavy drinking, in particular among liquor drinkers, is associated with an increased risk of the metabolic syndrome by influencing its components. Further data are warranted to clarify the association between drinking minimal alcohol and the metabolic syndrome as well as the beverage-specific association for drinking beer or wine.

[Indexed for MEDLINE]

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