The effects of alcohol consumption on flow-mediated dilation in humans: A systematic review.
Changes in endothelial function may contribute to the positive and negative effects of alcohol consumption on cardiovascular conditions, such as hypertension and coronary artery disease. Numerous studies have used brachial artery flow-mediated dilation (FMD) to examine the effects of alcohol consumption on endothelial function in humans. However, the findings are inconsistent and may be due to multiple factors such as heterogeneity in subject characteristics, the alcohol use pattern, and amount/dose of alcohol consumed. Therefore, the aim of this systematic review was to investigate the effect of alcohol consumption on brachial artery FMD in humans considering the above-mentioned factors. This review found that while light to moderate alcohol consumption may have minimal effects on FMD, heavy alcohol consumption was associated with a decrease in FMD. However, most of the published studies included healthy, younger, and male individuals, limiting generalizability to other populations. Future studies should include more women, older subjects, and those from diverse and underrepresented backgrounds.