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Korean J Fam Med. 2014 Nov;35(6):295-302. doi: 10.4082/kjfm.2014.35.6.295. Epub 2014 Nov 21.

Influence of the Flushing Response in the Relationship between Alcohol Consumption and Cardiovascular Disease Risk.

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Department of Family Medicine, Research Institute for Medical Sciences, Chungnam National University School of Medicine, Daejeon, Korea.



The purpose of this study was to examine the relationship between cardiovascular disease risk and alcohol consumption according to facial flushing after drinking among Korean men.


The subjects were 1,817 Korean men (non-drinker group, 283 men; drinking-related facial flushing group, 662 men; non-flushing group, 872 men) >30 years who had undergone comprehensive health examinations at the health promotion center of a Chungnam National University Hospital between 2007 and 2009. Alcohol consumption and alcohol-related facial flushing were assessed through a questionnaire. Cardiovascular disease risk was investigated based on the 2008 Framingham Heart Study. With the non-drinker group as reference, logistic regression was used to analyze the relationship between weekly alcohol intake and cardiovascular disease risk within 10 years for the flushing and non-flushing groups, with adjustment for confounding factors such as body mass index, diastolic blood pressure, low density lipoprotein cholesterol, triglycerides, and exercise patterns.


Individuals in the non-flushing group with alcohol consumption of ≤4 standard drinks (1 standard drink = 14 g of alcohol) per week had significantly lower moderate or high cardiovascular disease risk than individuals in the nondrinker group (adjusted odds ratio, 0.51; 95% confidence interval, 0.37 to 0.71). However, no significant relationship between the drinking amount and cardiovascular disease risk was observed in the flushing group.


Cardiovascular disease risk is likely lowered by alcohol consumption among non-flushers, and the relationship between the drinking amount and cardiovascular disease risk may differ according to facial flushing after drinking, representing an individual's vulnerability.


Alcohol; Cardiovascular Diseases; Flushing; Risk

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