4 march 2024

Reduced Alcohol Consumption and Major Adverse Cardiovascular Events Among Individuals With Previously High Alcohol Consumption

IMPORTANCE: Cardiovascular benefits of mild to moderate alcohol consumption need to be validated in the context of behavioral changes. The benefits of reduced alcohol consumption among people who drink heavily across different subtypes of cardiovascular disease (CVD) are unclear. OBJECTIVE: To investigate the association between reduced alcohol consumption and risk of major adverse cardiovascular events (MACEs) in individuals who drink heavily across different CVD subtypes. DESIGN, SETTING, AND PARTICIPANTS: This cohort study analyzed data from the Korean National Health Insurance Service-Health Screening database and self-reported questionnaires. The nationally representative cohort comprised Korean citizens aged 40 to 79 years who had national health insurance coverage on December 31, 2002, and were included in the 2002 to 2003 National Health Screening Program. People who drank heavily who underwent serial health examinations over 2 consecutive periods (first period: 2005-2008; second period: 2009-2012) were included and analyzed between February and May 2023. Heavy drinking was defined as more than 4 drinks (56 g) per day or more than 14 drinks (196 g) per week for males and more than 3 drinks (42 g) per day or more than 7 drinks (98 g) per week for females. EXPOSURES: Habitual change in heavy alcohol consumption during the second health examination period. People who drank heavily at baseline were categorized into 2 groups according to changes in alcohol consumption during the second health examination period as sustained heavy drinking or reduced drinking. MAIN OUTCOMES AND MEASURES: The primary outcome was the occurrence of MACEs, a composite of nonfatal myocardial infarction or angina undergoing revascularization, any stroke accompanied by hospitalization, and all-cause death. RESULTS: Of the 21 011 participants with heavy alcohol consumption at baseline (18 963 males [90.3%]; mean [SD] age, 56.08 [6.16] years) included in the study, 14 220 (67.7%) sustained heavy drinking, whereas 6791 (32.2%) shifted to mild to moderate drinking. During the follow-up of 162 378 person-years, the sustained heavy drinking group experienced a significantly higher incidence of MACEs than the reduced drinking group (817 vs 675 per 100 000 person-years; log-rank P = .003). Reduced alcohol consumption was associated with a 23% lower risk of MACEs compared with sustained heavy drinking (propensity score matching hazard ratio [PSM HR], 0.77; 95% CI, 0.67-0.88). These benefits were mostly accounted for by a significant reduction in the incidence of angina (PSM HR, 0.70; 95% CI, 0.51-0.97) and ischemic stroke (PSM HR, 0.66; 95% CI, 0.51-0.86). The preventive attributes of reduced alcohol intake were consistently observed across various subgroups of participants. CONCLUSIONS AND RELEVANCE: Results of this cohort study suggest that reducing alcohol consumption is associated with a decreased risk of future CVD, with the most pronounced benefits expected for angina and ischemic stroke.

Additional Info

  • Authors

    Kang D. O.; Lee D. I.; Roh S. Y.; Na J. O.; Choi C. U.; Kim J. W.; Kim E. J.; Rha S. W.; Park C. G.; Kim Y. S.; Kim Y.; You H. S.; Kang H. T.; Jo E.; Kim J.; Lee J. W.; Jung J. M.
  • Issue

    Periodical: JAMA Netw Open - Volume: 7 - Number: 3 - Edition: 20240304
  • Published Date

    4 march 2024