Issue: June 2020
Disclosures: The authors report no relevant financial disclosures.
May 05, 2020
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Alcohol consumption increases risk for PAD, stroke

Issue: June 2020
Disclosures: The authors report no relevant financial disclosures.
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Susanna C. Larsson

Higher alcohol consumption predicted by genetics was associated with elevated risk for peripheral artery disease and stroke, according to a study published in Circulation: Genomic and Precision Medicine.

This causal relationship was not observed in HF, aortic valve stenosis or venous thromboembolism, according to the study.

“Our findings show that alcohol consumption increases blood pressure and the risk of stroke, peripheral artery disease and possibly other cardiovascular diseases,” Susanna C. Larsson, PhD, senior researchers and associate professor of cardiovascular and nutritional epidemiology at Karolinska Institutet in Stockholm, Sweden, told Healio. “Considering that alcohol is a risk factor for high blood pressure, stroke and peripheral artery disease, alcohol consumption should be considered in moderation if at all.”

Researchers used 94 single nucleotide polymorphisms to assess the potential relationship between alcohol consumption and CVD outcomes in participants from the UK Biobank. The single nucleotide polymorphisms used as instrumental variables in this study were taken from a previous genome-wide association meta-analysis.

Primary CVD outcomes in this study included atrial fibrillation, CAD, stroke, VTE, HF, PAD, abdominal aortic aneurysm and aortic valve stenosis.

Alcohol consumption predicted with genetic data was associated with an increased risk for stroke (OR per 1 standard deviation [SD] increase of log-transformed alcoholic drinks per week = 1.27; 95% CI, 1.12-1.45) and PAD (OR per 1 SD increase of log-transformed alcoholic drinks per week = 3.05; 95% CI, 1.92-4.85).

In the inverse-variance weighted analysis, some evidence was observed for a positive association of alcohol consumption predicted by genetics and AF (OR = 1.17; 95% CI, 1-1.37), CAD (OR = 1.16; 95% CI, 1-1.36) and AAA (OR = 2.6; 95% CI, 1.15-5.89). The associations were somewhat attenuated after adjusting for smoking initiation in a multivariable Mendelian randomization analysis.

There was no association between genetically predicted alcohol consumption and VTE (OR = 1.04; 95% CI, 0.77-1.39), HF (OR = 1, 95% CI, 0.68-1.47) and aortic valve stenosis (OR = 1.03; 95% CI, 0.56-1.9).

“There is a need for further, even larger studies assessing the causal relationship between alcohol consumption and other cardiovascular diseases than stroke,” Larsson said in an interview. – by Darlene Dobkowski

For more information:

Susanna C. Larsson, PhD, can be reached at susanna.larsson@ki.se.

Disclosures: The authors report no relevant financial disclosures.