Association Between Heavy Alcohol Consumption and Coronary Heart Disease Among U.S. Adults: Using the 2015 BRFSS Annual Survey Data

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Background: Significant evidence exists about J-shaped relationship between alcohol consumption and total or cardiovascular disease (CVD)-specific mortality in US middleaged adults. Epidemiologic investigations presume that the J-shaped distribution is the sum of the detrimental effect of high levels of consumption on other causes of death and the protective effect on coronary heart disease (CHD) morbidity and mortality. Several studies demonstrated that moderate alcohol consumption reduces the risk of CHD. However, results have been inconsistent among heavy drinkers. In this study, we investigated the association of heavy alcohol consumption with CHD among adults aged 18-years or older in the US. Methods: Data from the 2015 Behavioral Risk Factor Surveillance System (BRFSS) were used to conduct this study. BRFSS is an annual cross-sectional survey administered to >400,000 adults in all 50 states to collect information about their health-related risk behaviors, chronic health conditions and the use of preventive services. Self-reported responses to BRFSS questionnaire were used to define study variables. Heavy alcohol consumption was defined as greater than 14 drinks (1 drink =12 ounces of beer) per week for men and 7 drinks per week for women. Logistic regression analysis was conducted to determine the association between history of coronary heart disease or angina and heavy alcohol consumption. The model was also adjusted for demographics (age, sex, and race), behaviors (exposure to tobacco smoking, physical activity, fruit consumption), other chronic conditions such as high blood pressure (ever been told having high blood pressure or not), high cholesterol (ever been told having high blood cholesterol or not) and overweight or obese. Results: Approximately 6% of study population reported history of CHD and 5% reported heavy alcohol consumption. The odds of having coronary heart disease or angina among heavy alcohol drinkers was 43% less than those who were not heavy alcohol drinkers (adjusted odds ratio: 0.57, 95% confidence interval: 0.52-0.62, pConclusion: The study findings demonstrate that heavy alcohol consumption is a protective factor for CHD morbidity. Future observational studies should be conducted to determine the overall benefits of heavy alcohol consumption as it relates to coronary heart diseases.


Johnson City, TN

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