Blood HDL cholesterol and LDL cholesterol levels are known to be higher and lower, respectively, in drinkers than in nondrinkers, and the beneficial effects of alcohol on cholesterol metabolism are thought to mainly explain the lower risk for ischemic heart disease in light-to-moderate drinkers than in nondrinkers. However, it remains unknown whether sensitivities of HDL and LDL cholesterol levels to alcohol are different or not. The subjects of this study were 21,572 middle-aged Japanese men, and they were divided into three tertile groups for blood HDL cholesterol levels. The relationships between habitual alcohol intake and LDL cholesterol levels were investigated in each tertile for HDL cholesterol. In all of the tertile groups for HDL cholesterol, mean LDL cholesterol levels were significantly lower in the drinking subgroups than in the nondrinking subgroup and tended to be lower with an increase of alcohol intake. In all of the tertile groups for HDL cholesterol, odds ratios for high LDL cholesterol of each drinking subgroup vs. the nondrinking subgroup were significantly lower than the reference level of 1.00, and also tended to be lower with an increase of alcohol intake. The odds ratios of each drinking subgroup tended to be lower in the 1st tertile group for HDL cholesterol than in the 3rd tertile group. Drinkers in the 1st tertile for HDL cholesterol are thought to have relatively low sensitivity of HDL cholesterol to alcohol, but clearly showed lower LDL cholesterol levels than those found in nondrinkers. Therefore, the sensitivity of LDL cholesterol level to alcohol is different from the sensitivity of HDL cholesterol level to alcohol.
Alcohol – Elsevier
Published: Mar 1, 2018
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