The relationship between alcohol consumption and metabolic syndrome

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According to findings from a recent study conducted by Amy Fan, M.D., Ph.D., of the CDC, and colleagues, drinking alcohol in excess of recommendations from U.S. Dietary Guidelines (more than two drinks daily for men and more than one for women) increases the risk of metabolic syndrome by 60%. The findings came from an examination of data provided by the 1999-2002 National Health and Nutrition Examination Survey (NHANES). Previous studies that have measured the relationship between alcohol consumption and metabolic syndrome have focused more narrowly on volume of alcohol consumed. According to the authors of the study, focusing on volume “can obscure large differences in drinking styles” that may have important influence on outcomes. The following is an excerpt of an article from Medpage Today that reviews the findings:

To examine the issue, they looked at metabolic abnormalities among current drinkers taking part in NHANES who had fasted for at least 12 hours before a blood test, who were not diagnosed with any cardiovascular disease, and who had not recently changed their drinking patterns in reaction to a medical condition.

All told, 1,529 participants met the criteria and had complete data available for evaluating both drinking patterns and the metabolic syndrome, the researchers said.

Measures of drinking patterns included:

* Frequency, grouped as less than a day a week, one to two days a week, or three or more days a week
* Usual quantity — one, two, or more than three drinks per drinking day
* Drinking exceeding the U.S. Dietary Guidelines — men who had more than two drinks and women who had more than one drink in a day
* Frequency of binge drinking (defined as more than five drinks in a day) — none, less than once a week, and at least once a week during the previous 12 months

Click here to read the rest of this article from Medpage Today

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