Associations between heavy alcohol drinking and lipid-related indices in middle-aged men

Alcohol. 2013 Dec;47(8):637-42. doi: 10.1016/j.alcohol.2013.10.001. Epub 2013 Oct 11.


The ratio of triglycerides to HDL cholesterol (TG/HDL-C ratio) and lipid accumulation product (LAP: a continuous marker of lipid over-accumulation determined by waist circumference and triglycerides) have been proposed to be good predictors of cardiovascular disease. The aim of this study was to clarify the relationships between heavy alcohol drinking and lipid-related indices including TG/HDL-C ratio, LAP, and ratio of LDL cholesterol to HDL cholesterol (LDL-C/HDL-C ratio). The subjects were middle-aged male nondrinkers and heavy drinkers (ethanol intake: ≥66 g per drinking day, which is 2-3 times or more than the generally recommended border level of daily alcohol consumption of 20-30 g). The levels of each lipid-related index after adjustment for age, smoking, and regular exercise were compared among nondrinkers, occasional heavy drinkers, and regular heavy drinkers. Log-transformed TG/HDL-C ratio was significantly higher in occasional heavy drinkers (mean ± standard error: 0.445 ± 0.014) than in nondrinkers (0.388 ± 0.004) and regular heavy drinkers (0.359 ± 0.013), and was not significantly different in nondrinkers and regular heavy drinkers. Log-transformed LAP was significantly higher in occasional heavy drinkers (1.51 ± 0.02) and regular heavy drinkers (1.44 ± 0.02) than in nondrinkers (1.34 ± 0.01), and was significantly higher in occasional heavy drinkers than in regular heavy drinkers. LDL-C/HDL-C ratio was significantly lower in occasional heavy drinkers (2.41 ± 0.04) and regular heavy drinkers (1.72 ± 0.04) than in nondrinkers (2.62 ± 0.01) and was significantly lower in regular heavy drinkers than in occasional heavy drinkers. Results of logistic regression analysis, using odds ratios for high lipid indices of occasional or regular heavy drinkers vs. nondrinkers, agreed with the above results of analysis of covariance. Occasional heavy drinkers showed more detrimental and less favorable levels of the lipid indices than did regular heavy drinkers, and thus heavy drinking, even if occasional, should be avoided to prevent cardiovascular disease.

Keywords: Abdominal obesity; Binge drinking; Cholesterol; Dyslipidemia; Triglycerides.

Publication types

  • Comparative Study
  • Research Support, Non-U.S. Gov't

MeSH terms

  • Alcohol Drinking / adverse effects*
  • Alcohol Drinking / blood*
  • Binge Drinking / blood*
  • Biomarkers / blood
  • Cholesterol, HDL / blood*
  • Cholesterol, LDL / blood*
  • Humans
  • Male
  • Middle Aged
  • Triglycerides / blood*


  • Biomarkers
  • Cholesterol, HDL
  • Cholesterol, LDL
  • Triglycerides