Author contributions Y.H. and Y.L. carried out the search and abstracted the data for the analysis. S.Z. and X.Y. did the statistical analysis. T.W. and J.Z. wrote the first draft of the manuscript. Y.H. will act as guarantor for the paper.
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.
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.
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.
Moderate alcohol consumption is causally related to lower risk of atherosclerosis through changes in lipid profiles and inflammation.