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Drinking Associated with Risk of Coronary Calcification

Middle-aged men who consume 69 or more alcohol grams daily at higher risk than non-drinkers

MONDAY, July 24 (HealthDay News) -- Japanese men who consume large quantities of alcohol have a higher risk of coronary artery calcification than men who drink less, researchers report in the July 15 issue of the American Journal of Cardiology.

Tomonori Okamura, M.D., Ph.D., of Shiga University of Medical Science in Shiga, Japan, and colleagues analyzed coronary calcification and alcohol consumption in 245 Japanese men between the ages of 40 and 49 without previous heart disease.

The researchers found a J-shaped relationship between alcohol consumption and coronary artery calcium, with the heaviest drinkers at higher heart calcification risk than light-drinkers, who were at lower risk than teetotalers.

"There was an increase of coronary artery calcium in heavy drinkers (46 grams a day or more), and participants who were drinking 69 grams a day or more showed a significant increase in coronary artery calcium compared with never drinkers after adjusting for other cardiovascular risk factors," the authors write.

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