Abstract 3644: Moderate Alcohol Consumption Is Associated With Improved Endothelial Function
Background and Purpose: Moderate alcohol intake is protective against coronary artery disease. Endothelial dysfunction contributes to atherosclerosis and the pathogenesis of cardiovascular disease. Effects of alcohol consumption on endothelial function may be relevant to these cardiovascular outcomes, but very few human studies have examined the effect of alcohol consumption on endothelial function assessed by flow-mediated dilation (FMD) of the brachial artery.
Methods: In the population-based Northern Manhattan Study (NOMAS), we performed a cross-sectional analysis of lifetime alcohol intake and brachial artery FMD during reactive hyperemia using high-resolution B-mode ultrasound images among 883 stroke free participants (mean age 66.7 years, women 56.6%, Hispanic 67.5%, black 17.5%, and white 14.9%).
Results: The mean brachial FMD was 5.68% and the median was 5.52%. Reported lifetime alcohol consumption was as follows:147 (16.7%) non-drinkers (<1drink/month), 616 (69.8%) >1drink/mo to 2drinks/day, 59 (6.7%) >2 to 5drinks/day, 60(6.8%) >5drinks/day. Compared to non-drinkers, those who drank >1 drink/mo to 2 drinks/day were more likely to have FMD above the median (5.5%) of FMD (unadjusted OR 1.7, 95% CI 1.2–2.5, p=0.004). In multivariate analysis, the relationship between moderate alcohol consumption and FMD remained significant after adjusting for multiple traditional cardiovascular risk factors, including age, body mass index, hypertension, diabetes and smoking (adjusted OR 1.5, 95%CI 1.1–2.2, p=0.02). No beneficial effect on FMD was seen for those who drank more than 2 drinks/day.
Conclusion: Consumption of up to 2 alcoholic beverages per day independently was associated with improved FMD compared to nondrinkers in this multiethnic population compared to non-drinkers. The effect on FMD may represent an important mechanism in explaining the protective effect of alcohol intake on cardiovascular disease.