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Associations between alcohol consumption and cardio-metabolic risk factors in young adults


Du, H and Bruno, R and Dwyer, T and Venn, A and Gall, S, Associations between alcohol consumption and cardio-metabolic risk factors in young adults, European Journal of Preventive Cardiology, 24, (18) pp. 1967-1978. ISSN 2047-4873 (2017) [Refereed Article]

Copyright Statement

The European Society of Cardiology 2017

DOI: doi:10.1177/2047487317724008


Introduction: The benefits of alcohol consumption for cardiovascular and metabolic health may have been overstated due to inappropriate comparisons with abstainers and inadequate control for confounding factors including physical activity and mental health. We examined alcohol consumption and cardio-metabolic health in a cohort of young Australian adults overcoming these limitations.

Methods: Cross-sectional data of a cohort of 2200 participants (age range 25-36 years) from the 2004-06 Childhood Determinants of Adult Health were used. Alcohol consumption was assessed from questionnaire and cardio-metabolic risk factors were measured in clinics. Linear and log binomial regression were used to examine total alcohol consumption (categories: none 0 g/day; light > 0-10 g/day [reference]; moderate > 10-20 g/day; heavy > 20-30 g/day; very heavy > 30 g/day) against dichotomous metabolic syndrome and its components: waist circumference, triglycerides, high-density lipoprotein cholesterol, blood pressure and glucose. Covariates included socio-demographics, smoking, diet, physical activity, fitness, depression and anxiety.

Results: Of the 2220 participants (48% males, mean (standard deviation) age 29.5 (2.5) years), most were classified in the 'light drinking' group (54.2%), less were in the 'non-drinking' (13.2%), 'heavy' (5.2%) or 'very heavy' (5.5%) drinking groups. Only moderate drinking was associated with a significantly lower prevalence of metabolic syndrome (prevalence ratio = 0.64, p < 0.05) compared with light drinking. Higher levels of alcohol consumption were associated with higher high-density lipoprotein cholesterol (β = 0.05, ptrend < 0.001). Very heavy compared to light drinkers had higher systolic (β = 3.01 mm Hg, p < 0.01) and diastolic (β = 2.07 mm Hg, p < 0.05) blood pressure.

Conclusion: Moderate alcohol consumption was associated with a lower prevalence of MetS, and more favourable levels of lipids but not glucose or blood pressure even when compared to light consumption and with account for a range of confounding factors.

Item Details

Item Type:Refereed Article
Keywords:cardio-metabolic risk factors, metabolic syndrome, alcohol consumption, epidemiology, lifestyle, cardiovascular diseases
Research Division:Health Sciences
Research Group:Epidemiology
Research Field:Epidemiology not elsewhere classified
Objective Division:Health
Objective Group:Public health (excl. specific population health)
Objective Field:Behaviour and health
UTAS Author:Du, H (Mr Hong Du)
UTAS Author:Bruno, R (Associate Professor Raimondo Bruno)
UTAS Author:Dwyer, T (Professor Terry Dwyer)
UTAS Author:Venn, A (Professor Alison Venn)
UTAS Author:Gall, S (Associate Professor Seana Gall)
ID Code:121273
Year Published:2017
Web of Science® Times Cited:17
Deposited By:Menzies Institute for Medical Research
Deposited On:2017-09-20
Last Modified:2018-06-21

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