Alcohol Linked to Abdominal Aortic Aneurysm Risk

Highest risk in men consuming two or more drinks per day

TUESDAY, April 3 (HealthDay News) -- Men who consume two or more alcoholic drinks per day have a higher risk of developing abdominal aortic aneurysm than those who drink less, according to a report in the April 1 issue of the American Journal of Epidemiology.

Eric B. Rimm, Sc.D., and colleagues from the Harvard School of Public Health in Boston, examined the effects of alcohol consumption on abdominal aortic aneurysms in 39,352 men who participated in the Health Professionals Follow-Up Study from 1986-2002. The researchers observed 376 new cases of abdominal aortic aneurysms during a follow-up of 576,374 person-years.

Previously reported risk factors, such as smoking, hypertension and body mass index, were associated with aneurysm risk. In addition, alcohol was linked to a higher risk. Compared to non-drinkers, the hazard ratio was 1.21 for a daily intake of 30 g or more (two or more standard drinks per day) at baseline, which increased to 1.65 if updated alcohol consumption data was used. Liquor, but not beer or wine, was positively associated with aneurysm, although few of the heavy drinkers consumed beer or wine, according to the study.

"To our knowledge, this report is the first to demonstrate an association between alcohol consumption and aortic aneurysm," Rimm and colleagues conclude.

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