Monday, May 27, 2024
HomeHealthKorean study explains alcohol reduction and related CVD risk

Korean study explains alcohol reduction and related CVD risk

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Chronic heavy drinking is a well-recognized risk factor for cardiovascular disease (CVD). However, the relationship between a decrease in alcohol consumption in heavy drinkers and potential reductions in the risk of major adverse cardiovascular events (MACEs) had not been well-established before a recently released study.

The research aimed to determine if a reduction in alcohol consumption among heavy drinkers was associated with decreased risk of MACEs. The focus was on a diverse range of CVD subtypes.

The team conducted a cohort study using the Korean National Health Insurance Service–Health Screening database, including individuals aged 40 to 79 years who underwent two consecutive health examinations between 2005 and 2012.

Heavy drinking was defined following the National Institute on Alcohol Abuse and Alcoholism (NIAAA) criteria. Participants who transitioned from heavy to moderate or mild drinking were compared to those who kept on downing whatever they desired.

The cohort consisted of 21,011 participants, the majority being male (90.3%), with an average age of 56 years. Over an average follow-up period after the second health examination, there were fewer MACEs in the reduced drinking group compared to the sustained heavy drinking group, translating into a 23% decreased risk of MACEs among those who lowered their alcohol intake.

Specifically, reduced alcohol consumption was associated with a significant reduction in the risk for angina and ischemic stroke.

The findings support the premise that reducing alcohol consumption in heavy drinkers is significantly associated with a lower risk of cardiovascular outcomes.

The implications for public health practices and clinical recommendations include the encouragement and support for heavy drinkers to minimize alcohol intake as a means of reducing cardiovascular risk.

For clinicians and policymakers, this study emphasizes the potential health benefits of moderating alcohol consumption among heavy drinkers to mitigate the risks of major cardiovascular events, particularly angina and stroke.

This evidence can guide healthcare strategies and patient counselling on lifestyle modifications to improve cardiovascular health outcomes.

The researchers had some cautionary warnings, however.

Self-reported alcohol intake data may lead to misclassification; the study’s generalizability is limited to South Korea’s population; and the observational nature of the study design means causality cannot be firmly established.

Moreover, the analysis may not completely account for other behavioural changes or confounding factors that might influence cardiovascular risk.

Note: Read the full study

See also:
Alcohol & the WFPB lifestyle
Seniors are drinking too much

Whole Food Living reviews and selects material from a wide variety of international sources. Our primary focus covers food, health and environment. We publish fact checked official announcements made as the result of formal studies conducted by Universities, respected health care organisations, journals, and scientists around the globe.

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