Moderate alcohol consumption and atherosclerosis : Meta-analysis of effects on lipids and inflammation.
OBJECTIVE: Alcohol consumption plays an important role in the risk of major cardiovascular diseases. We conducted a meta-analysis to summarize the association between moderate alcohol consumption and atherosclerosis.
DESIGN: In this study four databases and reference lists of retrieved articles were searched to identify eligible studies. A meta-analysis was carried out of all interventional studies that assessed the effects of moderate alcohol consumption on concentrations of low density lipoprotein cholesterol, high density lipoprotein cholesterol, triglycerides, apolipoprotein A I, interleukin 6, plasminogen activator inhibitor 1, fibrinogen, and other biomarkers previously found to be associated with risk of atherosclerosis.
RESULTS: A total of 31 studies met the eligibility criteria. In response to moderate alcohol consumption, low density lipoprotein cholesterol decreased by 0.08 mmol/l (P = 0.05), and high density lipoprotein cholesterol increased by 0.08 mmol/l (P < 0.00001), whereas total cholesterol and triglyceride remained the same. Moreover, interleukin 6 decreased by 0.43 pg/ml (P = 0.03), whereas C‑reactive protein and tumor necrosis factor a remained the same. Several hemostatic factors and adiponectin were modestly affected by alcohol consumption.
CONCLUSION: Moderate alcohol consumption is causally related to lower risk of atherosclerosis through changes in lipid profiles and inflammation.