A recent study looks at alcohol consumption patterns and cardiovascular mortality by socioeconomic status. The analysis focused on the health of the Norwegian population.
Socially disadvantaged people tend to experience more personal harm when exposed to alcohol than those who are better off. Alcohol has multiple effects on the cardiovascular system, both potentially harmful and protective.
Researchers have examined the relationship between drinking patterns and cardiovascular disease mortality by socio-economic status. Data from the national registers obtained were analyzed by comparing these 2 groups, taking into account other factors such as age, sex, smoking, physical activity, body mass index, triglycerides, diabetes, history of cardiovascular disease and family history of coronary heart disease.
A very large study and a prolonged follow-up
The analyzes were carried out in the whole sample and according to the socio-professional categories, higher, middle and low. A total of 8,435 deaths from cardiovascular disease occurred during the 17 years of follow-up in this group of people.
Compared with infrequent consumption (less than once a month), moderately frequent consumption (2 to 3 times a week) is associated with a paradoxically lower risk of mortality.
In addition, a moderate but regular consumption is more protective against the risk of cardiovascular disease than an infrequent consumption. This association was more marked among the participants in cases of high socio-economic level.
On the other hand, high and frequent consumption ("binge drinking") is associated with a higher risk of mortality from cardiovascular disease, with no net variation in socio-economic status.