BMJ Open 2018 05 3;8(5):e020777. Epub 2018 May 3.
Department of Medicine, Beth Israel Deaconess Medical Center, Boston, Massachusetts, USA.
Objectives: To investigate the association between alcohol consumption and left ventricular (LV) function in a population with low average alcohol intake.
Design, Setting And Participants: A total of 1296 healthy participants, free from cardiovascular diseases, were randomly selected from the third wave of the Norwegian HUNT study (2006-2008) and underwent echocardiography. After validation of the inclusion criteria, 30 participants were excluded due to arrhythmias or myocardial or valvular pathology. Alcohol consumption, sociodemographic and major cardiovascular risk factors were assessed by questionnaires and clinical examination in the HUNT3. General linear models were used to analyse the cross-sectional associations between alcohol intake and LV indices.
Primary And Secondary Outcome Measures: LV functional and structural indices were measured with tissue Doppler and speckle tracking echocardiography.
Results: We observed no associations between alcohol consumption and multivariable-adjusted LV functional indices. Excluding abstainers who reported regular alcohol consumption 10 years prior to the baseline did not change the results. Alcohol consumption was positively associated with LV mass indices (p<0.01 for linear trend of the means); there was no such association among participants with non-risky drinking characteristics (p=0.67 for linear trend of the means).
Conclusions: We found no clear evidence that light-moderate alcohol consumption is associated with measures of LV function, although our results indicate that consumption, especially when marked by binge drinking, is progressively associated with greater LV mass.