Aims: To determine the association between several cardiovascular risk factors with total alcohol and types of alcoholic beverage consumption. Methods: The subjects were Spanish men (n = 2,383) and women (n = 2,535) aged 25-74 years who were examined in 1994-1995 and 1999-2000, in two population-based cross-sectional surveys in the north-east of Spain (Gerona). Information of total amount and type of alcohol consumption, educational level, smoking, leisure-time physical, antihypertensive and hyperlipidemic drug treatment was obtained through structured questionnaires. The cardiovascular risk factors total cholesterol, HDL cholesterol, triglycerides, fasting glucose, fibrinogen, lipoprotein (a), heart rate and systolic and diastolic blood pressures were determined. Results: Men consumed significantly more alcohol than women (19.5 vs. 4.5 g/day, respectively) and the prevalence of elevated alcohol consumption (>2 glasses of wine/day) also was higher in men (35.3%) than women (3.5%). Total alcohol intake was significantly related with HDL cholesterol and fibrinogen improvements in both genders. In contrast, total cholesterol, triglycerides, heart rate, and systolic and diastolic blood pressures were directly and significantly (p < 0.05) associated with total alcohol consumption in men but not in women. Wine drinking, particularly in women, was associated with a healthy cardiovascular risk profile. Most of the observed significant associations between type of alcohol beverage and CHD risk factors disappeared after controlling for total alcohol consumption and other confounders. Conclusions: Alcohol consumption was favorably related to the cardiovascular risk profile in women but not in men. The relationship of alcohol beverages seems to be mediated by the total alcohol content rather than by the type of beverage itself. Copyright © 2005 S. Karger AG.
- Alcoholic beverages
- Cardiovascular risk factors