Alcohol consumption was not related to risk for HF in older patients with hypertension, according to a study published in The American Journal of Cardiology.
Berhe W. Sahle, PhD, a PhD student in epidemiology at Monash University in Melbourne, Australia, at the time of the study and now a postdoctoral research fellow at Western Sydney University in Penrith, Australia, and colleagues analyzed data from 6,083 patients from the Second Australian National BP study with hypertension aged 65 to 84 years. Patients with a history of stroke, MI, HF, accelerated or malignant hypertension and dementia within 6 months before screening were excluded.
BP was measured at baseline, and laboratory measurements were obtained from existing medical records. A questionnaire was used to collect information such as demographics, lifestyle and the frequency and amount of alcohol consumption. Patients reported whether they never drank alcohol (n = 1,289; mean age, 73 years; 32% women), had quit drinking alcohol (n = 394; mean age, 72 years; 5% women), drank between one and seven drinks per week (n = 2,409; mean age, 72 years; 43% women), drank between eight and 14 drinks per week (n = 1,217; mean age, 72 years; 17% women) or drank more than 14 drinks per week (n = 774; mean age, 73 years; 4% women).
Follow-up was conducted until an incident HF diagnosis or Sept. 16, 2011, whichever came first.
During a median follow-up of 10.8 years, 319 patients (57% men) developed incident HF, resulting in an incidence rate of 5.4 per 1,000 person-years (95% CI, 4.8-6).
The risk for HF was not significantly linked to alcohol consumption in men or women after adjusting for multiple confounders.
Compared with patients who never drank, the HR was 0.87 (95% CI, 0.59-1.3) for women who drank between one and seven drinks per week, 0.96 (95% CI, 0.57-1.6) for those who drank between eight and 14 drinks per week and 0.71 (95% CI, 0.25-2.02) in women who drank more than 14 drinks per week. The HRs in men vs. never drinkers were 0.81 (95% CI, 0.47-1.38) in those who drank between one and seven drinks per week, 0.77 (95% CI, 0.43-1.38) for those who drank between eight and 14 drinks per week and 1.04 (95% CI, 0.59-1.84) in those who drank more than 14 drinks per week. These findings did not change when comparing quartiles of alcohol intake throughout the trial with patients who never drank.
“The inconsistency surrounding the risk or benefit of moderate drinking in relation to HF might be partly explained by the variation in age of population studied, definition of HF and/or presence of comorbidities,” Sahle and colleagues wrote. “Older people are more vulnerable to adverse effects of alcohol due to age-related changes in body composition. As a result, the same amounts of alcohol produce higher blood alcohol concentrations in older than in the middle-aged, which could attenuate the benefit of moderate drinking observed in middle-aged populations.” – by Darlene Dobkowski
Disclosures: The authors report no relevant financial disclosures.