- •Increasing alcohol consumption leads to increased HDL markers.
- •Moderate drinkers have higher HDL values compared to light drinkers.
- •Race and sex can modify the relationship between HDL and cholesterol efflux.
- •Unable to evaluate impact of HDL markers due to low number of cardiovascular events.
Small studies have suggested that moderate alcohol consumption increases HDL cholesterol (HDL-C) levels and cholesterol efflux capacity (CEC), a main anti-atherosclerotic HDL function.
This study aimed to understand the degree to which alcohol intake is associated with various HDL markers in a large, multiethnic population cohort, the Dallas Heart Study (DHS), and whether alcohol modifies the link between HDL markers and atherosclerotic cardiovascular disease (ASCVD).
Participants of the DHS were included if they had self-reported alcohol intake and CEC measurements (N=2,919). Alcohol intake was analyzed continuously (grams/week) and as an ordered categorical variable (never, past, light, moderate, heavy, and binge drinkers). HDL-C, CEC, HDL particle number (HDL-P), HDL particle size (HDL-size), and ApoA-I were the primary HDL measures.
After adjustment for confounding variables, increasing continuous measure of alcohol intake was associated with increased levels of all HDL markers. Moreover, as compared to moderate drinkers, light drinkers had decreased levels of the HDL markers.
In a large, multiethnic cohort, increased alcohol intake was associated with increased levels of multiple markers of HDL metabolism. However, the association of HDL markers with ASCVD risk as modified by alcohol consumption is unable to be determined in this low-risk cohort.
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Published online: October 28, 2022
Accepted: October 21, 2022
Received: December 14, 2021
© 2022 Published by Elsevier Inc. on behalf of National Lipid Association.