Objective-Moderate alcohol consumption has been postulated to be cardioprotective. Such an effect might be reflected in large-artery properties, such as arterial stiffness and wave reflections. Methods and Results-Three hundred seventy-one healthy postmenopausal women aged 50 to 74 years were sampled from a population-based study. Alcohol intake was calculated from a standardized questionnaire. Applanation tonometry was applied to assess the augmentation index and aortic pulse-wave velocity. Those drinking 1 to 3, 4 to 9, 10 to 14, and 15 to 35 glasses of alcoholic beverages per week had a 0.044 (95% CI -0.47 to 0.56), -0.085 (95% CI -0.59 to 0.43), -0.869 (95% CI -1.44 to -0.29), and -0.225 (95% CI -0.98 to 0.53) m/s difference in mean pulse-wave velocity compared with nondrinkers, respectively, which indicates a J-shaped relationship. Adjustment for potential confounders of pulse-wave velocity or alcohol intake did not materially change the strength of the association. Adjustment for HDL further attenuated the relationship. The augmentation index was not related to alcohol consumption when adjustments were made for physiological determinants such as age, height, and ejection duration. Conclusions-Among postmenopausal women, alcohol consumption is inversely associated with pulse-wave velocity. This supports the presence of a decreased risk of cardiovascular disease with moderate alcohol consumption, which may be mediated in part by HDL cholesterol.

Alcohol, Aortic stiffness, Postmenopausal women, Pulse-wave velocity
dx.doi.org/10.1161/01.ATV.0000110784.52412.8f, hdl.handle.net/1765/66015
Arteriosclerosis, Thrombosis, and Vascular Biology
Erasmus MC: University Medical Center Rotterdam

Sierksma, A, Lebrun, C.E.I, van der Schouw, Y.T, Grobbee, D.E, Lamberts, S.W.J, Hendriks, H.F.J, & Bots, M.L. (2004). Alcohol Consumption in Relation to Aortic Stiffness and Aortic Wave Reflections: A Cross-Sectional Study in Healthy Postmenopausal Women. Arteriosclerosis, Thrombosis, and Vascular Biology, 24(2), 342–348. doi:10.1161/01.ATV.0000110784.52412.8f