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Eur J Prev Cardiol. 2012 Jun;19(3):314-21. doi: 10.1177/1741826711404501. Epub 2011 Mar 29.

Alcohol consumption and carotid atherosclerosis in China: the Cardiovascular Risk Survey.

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Department of Cardiology, First Affiliated Hospital of Xinjiang Medical University, Urumqi, PR China.



The relationship between alcohol consumption and carotid atherosclerosis has been reported in some epidemiological studies, but the results were conflicting. We investigated the association between alcohol intake and carotid atherosclerosis in the Han, Uygur, and Kazakh populations in Xinjiang in western China.


The study population sample comprised 13,037 Chinese people (5277 Han, 4572 Uygur, and 3188 Kazakh) aged ≥35 years who participated in a cardiovascular risk survey between June 2007 and March 2010. Daily consumption of alcohol was determined by the number and frequency of alcoholic beverages consumed. Carotid-artery parameters, including common carotid artery intima-media thickness (CCA-IMT) and carotid plaques were measured using high-resolution B-mode ultrasonography. In the Han and Kazakh populations, CCA-IMT as a function of alcohol consumption was depicted as a J-shaped curve with a nadir for the alcohol-intake category of 20-29.9 g/day; In the Uygur population, a similar curve with a nadir of 30-49.9 g/day was observed. With respect to the prevalence of carotid plaques, we also observed similar curves in the Han and Kazakh populations, but not in the Uygur population. After adjustment for age, sex, blood pressure, body mass index, and smoking status, as well as levels of glucose, total cholesterol, high-density lipoprotein-cholesterol, and low-density lipoprotein-cholesterol, the J-shaped curves remained.


Our results indicated that alcohol consumption was associated with carotid atherosclerosis and that moderate drinking had an inverse association with carotid atherosclerosis. However, the definition of moderate drinking could be different in Han, Uygur, and Kazakh populations.

[Indexed for MEDLINE]

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