Blood cholesterol levels of 32-year-old alcohol consumers are better than of nonconsumers

L L Koppes, J W Twisk, J Snel, W Van Mechelen, H C Kemper

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Blood cholesterol levels are expected to be important factors in the causal pathway between alcohol consumption and CHD. The relation between alcohol consumption and blood cholesterol levels is investigated in 130 men and 145 women aged 32.4 years old (+/-1.0), from the Amsterdam Growth and Health Longitudinal Study. When controlled for gender, cholesterol levels at age 13.1 years, and lifestyle at adult age (smoking, physical activity, dietary habits), no significant differences were found for total cholesterol (TC) levels between alcohol consumers and nonconsumers. Serum high-density lipoprotein (HDL) cholesterol levels were 0.12 mmol/l higher in subjects consuming >/=100 grams of alcohol per week than in nonconsumers (p < 0.05). Regression coefficients of subjects consuming 10 to 50, or 50 to 100 g alcohol per week did not differ statistically from those of nonconsumers. The positive relation between alcohol consumption and serum HDL was modified by smoking (found in nonsmokers, but not in smokers). No differences between beer, wine, and spirits were found for their relation with serum HDL. In conclusion, 32.4-year-old nonsmoking subjects who consumed >/=100 g of alcohol per week had improved HDL levels compared with nonconsumers, whereas the protective effect of drinking smaller amounts of alcohol did not reach statistical significance.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)163-7
Number of pages5
JournalPharmacology, biochemistry, and behavior
Issue number1
Publication statusPublished - May 2000

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