The relationship between alcohol consumption and the prevalence of metabolic syndrome is not consistent and may vary between populations, depending on age, sex, ethnicity, cultural traditions and lifestyle. We have hypothesized that moderate alcohol consumption will be associated with the lowest risk of the syndrome. The aim of the present study is to examine the relationship between the current consumption of alcohol and the prevalence of metabolic syndrome and its components. The research material includes data obtained from 12,285 men and women, in the age range of 37-66 years. Multiple logistic regression was used in the statistical analysis. Metabolic syndrome (MetS) was defined according to the International Diabetes Federation. In men, a current consumption of >30 g of alcohol/day was significantly associated with a higher risk of metabolic syndrome (OR = 1.73, 95% CI = 1.25-2.39), high blood pressure (OR = 2.76, 95% CI = 1.64-4.65), elevated glucose concentration (OR = 1.70, 95% CI = 1.24-2.32), and abdominal obesity (OR = 1.77; 95% CI = 1.07-2.92). In women, the consumption from 10.1 to 15.0 g of alcohol was associated only with a higher risk of abnormal glucose concentration (OR = 1.65; 95% CI = 1.14-2.38.) In both sexes, current alcohol consumption was associated with higher high-density lipoproteins (HDL)-cholesterol concentration (p < 0.05). No relationship was found between alcohol consumption and triglyceride concentration. It is difficult to formulate unequivocal recommendations regarding alcohol intake in MetS prophylaxis due to its different association with particular MetS components. In order to explain the causal relationship between alcohol consumption and MetS and its components, prospective studies are necessary.
Keywords: alcohol consumption; men; metabolic syndrome; women.