Aim: Previous studies have reported that moderate alcohol consumption is protective against cardiovascular disease, but heavy alcohol consumption increases its risk. Endothelial dysfunction is hypothesized to contribute to the development of atherosclerosis and cardiovascular disease. However, few population-based studies have examined a potential effect of alcohol consumption on endothelial function.
Methods: This study included 404 men aged 30-79 years who were recruited from residents in 2 communities under the Circulatory Risk in Communities Study in 2013 and 2014. We asked the individuals about the frequency and volume of alcohol beverages and converted the data into grams of ethanol per day. Endothelial function was assessed by brachial artery flow-mediated dilation (FMD) measurements during reactive hyperemia. We performed cross-sectional analysis of alcohol consumption and %FMD by logistic regression analysis, adjusting for age, baseline brachial artery diameter, body mass index, systolic blood pressure, low-density lipoprotein cholesterol, HbA1c, smoking, antihypertensive medication use, and community.
Results: Individuals who drank ≥ 46 g/day ethanol had a lower age-adjusted mean %FMD than non-drinkers (p＜0.01). Compared with non-drinkers, the age-adjusted odds ratios (ORs) (95% confidence interval) of low %FMD (＜5.3%) for former, light (＜23.0 g/day ethanol), moderate (23.0-45.9 g/day ethanol), and heavy (≥ 46.0 g/day ethanol) drinkers were 1.61 (0.67-3.89), 0.84 (0.43-1.66), 1.09 (0.52-2.25), and 2.99 (1.56-5.70), respectively. The corresponding multivariable-adjusted ORs were 1.76 (0.69-4.50), 0.86 (0.42-1.76), 0.98 (0.45-2.12), and 2.39 (1.15-4.95), respectively.
Conclusions: Heavy alcohol consumption may be an independent risk factor of endothelial dysfunction in Japanese men.