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Alcohol Alcohol. 2010 Mar-Apr;45(2):119-25. doi: 10.1093/alcalc/agp092. Epub 2010 Jan 18.

Alcohol intake and systemic markers of inflammation--shape of the association according to sex and body mass index.

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Department of Hygiene and Epidemiology, University of Porto Medical School, Alameda Professor Hernâni Monteiro 4200-319, Porto, Portugal.



To assess the association of alcohol intake with high-sensitivity C-reactive protein (hs-CRP), uric acid and leukocyte count in blood, and whether sex and body mass index (BMI) modify these associations.


Individuals aged > or =18 years were randomly selected from the population of Porto, Portugal (70% of participation). A total of 840 women and 490 men with reliable information on inflammatory markers and alcohol intake, obtained from a validated food frequency questionnaire, were studied. Associations and their respective trends were estimated from generalized linear models, with adjustment for potential confounders. Analyses were stratified by sex and BMI.


In women, adjusted hs-CRP levels (mg/l) were 2.69 in non-drinkers, 2.25 in drinkers of >0-15 g alcohol/day, 2.32 in drinkers of >15-30 g alcohol/day and 3.18 in drinkers of >30 g alcohol/day (P-value for the quadratic trend <0.001). In men, the association between alcohol intake and hs-CRP was positive and linear (P-value for the linear trend = 0.014). Alcohol intake was also positively and linearly associated with uric acid in each sex. Body weight modified these associations, which remained statistically significant only in normal-weight (BMI <25 kg/m(2)) women and overweight (BMI > or =25 kg/m(2)) men for hs-CRP, and in normal-weight individuals for uric acid. No significant association between alcohol intake and leukocyte count was found.


The association of alcohol intake with hs-CRP was J-shaped in women but positive and linear-shaped in men. Alcohol intake was directly associated with uric acid in men and women. BMI modifies the effect of alcohol on hs-CRP and uric acid levels in each sex.

[Indexed for MEDLINE]

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