Genetic study ties higher alcohol consumption to increased s
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Higher alcohol consumption was shown to be associated with an increased risk of having a stroke or developing peripheral artery disease, according to new research published today in Circulation: Genomic and Precision Medicine, an American Heart Association journal.

Researchers in this study used a technique called Mendelian randomization that identifies genetic variants with a known association to potential risk factors to determine the potential degree of disease risk. Since genetic variants are determined at conception and cannot be affected by subsequent environmental factors, this technique allows to better determine whether a risk factor — in this case, heavy alcohol consumption — is the cause of a disease, or if it is simply associated,”

Researchers analyzed the genetic data from several large-scale consortia and the UK Biobank. Results indicate that with higher alcohol consumption:

-- A three-fold increase of peripheral artery disease, a narrowing of arteries that results in reduced blood flow, usually to the legs;
-- A 27% increase in stroke incidence; and
-- Some evidence for a positive association of coronary artery disease, atrial fibrillation and aortic aneurysm.

“Higher alcohol consumption is a known cause of death and disability, yet it was previously unclear if alcohol consumption is also a cause of cardiovascular disease. Considering that many people consume alcohol regularly, it is important to disentangle any risks or benefits,” Researchers said.

They noted that this study suggested the mechanism by which higher consumption was associated with the risk of stroke and PAD may be blood pressure.

Source: https://newsroom.heart.org/news/genetic-study-ties-higher-alcohol-consumption-to-increased-stroke-and-pad-risk
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