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Ann Epidemiol. 2012 Jul;22(7):480-6. doi: 10.1016/j.annepidem.2012.04.014. Epub 2012 May 9.

Relationships among alcohol consumption, facial flushing response, and metabolic syndrome in healthy men.

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Department of Family Medicine, Gangneung Asan Hospital, Ulsan University College of Medicine, Korea.



It is believed that alcohol has an intimate connection with metabolic syndrome (MS). However, the role of facial flushing after alcohol consumption in this relationship has not yet been well known. We explored the relationship between weekly alcohol consumption, risk of MS, and the flushing response.


The subjects were 1823 Korean adult males (305 nondrinkers, 540 flushers, 978 nonflushers) who had undergone a comprehensive medical check-up at Chungnam National University Hospital. We excluded the cases with the history of hypertension, diabetes, dyslipidemia, or who had taken medication in the previous month. After controlling for age, body mass index, exercise status, and smoking history, we used a logistic regression analysis to calculate the risk of MS with drinks per week in flushers and nonflushers as compared with nondrinkers.


The risk of MS in flushers was significantly increased with alcohol consumption >4 drinks (4-16 drinks: odds ratio [OR] 1.93; >16 drinks: OR 2.20). However, in nonflushers, the risk of MS was increased in those consuming >16 drinks (OR 2.02).


Our results suggest that the threshold for MS from alcohol consumption is lower in flushers than in nonflushers.

[Indexed for MEDLINE]

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