3 years ago

At the heart of the problem - A person-centred, developmental perspective on the link between alcohol consumption and cardio-vascular events

The cardio-protective effect of alcohol has been the subject of a long-standing scientific controversy. Emerging evidence remains equivocal, as the validity of the dose-dependent J-shape association is tainted by conceptual, theoretical and methodological problems. A major impediment for a resolution on the matter is the lack of a life-long developmental approach to pinpoint alcohol's specific impact on the risk for cardio-vascular events (CVE). Objective Using retrospective and prospective individual-level data of alcohol consumption (AC) we applied a model-based clustering technique to uncover life-course trajectories of AC and explored their links to CVE. Methods Data stemmed from a random sub-cohort of a large-scale, longitudinal study conducted in the Netherlands (N =2288). Group Based Trajectory Model (GBTM) was applied to extract distinct progressions of AC over time. Stratified by sex, the association between the developmental trajectories and CVE was examined with multiple logistic regression models, with adjustment for traditional risk factors. Results GBTM analysis laid bare the heterogeneity of AC dynamics over the life-course, reiterating sex differences in drinking habits and CVE risk. AC temporal behaviors during adolescence and adulthood were diverse, but showed relative stability in in middle-age and elderly years. For males, adjusted odds for CVE differed among the uncovered developmental classes. Conclusions The findings elicited supportive evidence for a J-shape, but with a new twist. Besides moderation the results indicate that onset, timing, duration and stability of AC over the life-course are major aspects to be accounted for when attempting to elucidate alcohol's cardio-vascular role.

Publisher URL: www.sciencedirect.com/science

DOI: S0167527316345855

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