12 march 2022

Association between Alcohol Intake and Arterial Stiffness in Healthy Adults: A Systematic Review

BACKGROUND: Arterial stiffness as assessed by Pulse Wave Velocity (PWV) represents an independent predictor of cardiovascular disease. Several dietary compounds and lifestyle factors could influence arterial stiffness. The debate on the significance of the correlation between alcohol consumption and arterial stiffness is still open, given that the relationship is complex and potentially affected by several factors such as alcohol type, consumption levels, gender and age differences.

OBJECTIVE: This systematic literature review aims to examine the evidence supporting an association between alcohol use and PWV, in electronic databases including PubMed/MEDLINE and the CochraneCochrane is a global independent network of health practitioners researchers patient advocates and o... Library, from January 2010 to November 2020. Screening and full-text reviews were performed by three investigators and data extraction by two. Considering the significant heterogeneity of data only a qualitative analysis (systematic review) was performed.

RESULTS: A total of 13 studies met the inclusion criteria. Alcohol consumption was independently associated with arterial stiffness in a J-shaped way in most of the studies included. A benefit of alcohol consumption on arterial stiffness was found in four experimental studies, whilst an unfavorable increasing linear association was found in four others. Associations were confirmed with both oscillometric and tonometric PWV assessment methods. In some studies, a gender and age correlation was found with a more pronounced association in older males. In all studies elevated levels of alcohol consumption were associated with a worsening of arterial stiffness.

CONCLUSIONS: Despite the variable findings across studies, the current review provides preliminary evidence that light-to-moderate alcohol consumption is associated with arterial stiffness values lower than expected, and evidence that high doses accelerate arterial ageing. These findings could be useful for clinicians who provide recommendations for patients at cardiovascular (CV) risk. Nevertheless, given the heterogeneity of study designs, interventions, measurement methods and statistical evaluations, the protective role of moderate alcohol consumption on arterial stiffness is likely but not certain, warranting additional trials and evidence.

Additional Info

  • Authors

    Del Giorno Rosaria; Maddalena Ania; Bassetti Stefano; Gabutti Luca
  • Issue

    Nutrients . 2022 Mar 12;14(6):1207
  • Published Date

    12 march 2022