Relationship of Alcohol Intake with Inflammatory Markers and Plasminogen Activator Inhibitior-1 in Well-Functioning Older Adults: The Health, Aging, and Body Composition Study

Stefano Volpato, Marco Pahor, Luigi Ferrucci, Eleanor M. Simonsick, Jack M. Guralnik, Stephen B. Kritchevsky, Renato Fellin, Tamara B. Harris

Research output: Contribution to journalArticle

Abstract

Background-Increased levels of acute-phase reactants predict the onset of poor health outcomes. A U-shaped association has been reported between alcohol intake and health outcomes, which suggests that alcohol intake may modify levels of acute-phase reactants. We investigated the relationship between weekly alcohol intake and interleukin-6 (IL-6), C-reactive protein (CRP), tumor necrosis factor-α (TNF-α), and plasminogen activator inhibitor-1 (PAI-1). Methods and Results-Data are from year 1 of the Health, Aging, and Body Composition study, a biracial cohort of 3075 well-functioning men and women aged 70 to 79 years, living in Memphis, Tenn, and Pittsburgh, Pa. The analysis included 2574 persons (51.2% women; 40.1% black) with complete data. After adjustment for age, race, smoking status, history of diabetes, history of cardiovascular disease, physical activity, high-density lipoprotein cholesterol, antiinflammatory medications, statins, and total fat mass, alcohol intake showed a J-shaped relationship with mean IL-6 (P for quadratic term <0.001) and CRP (P=0.014) levels. The association was consistent in both men and women. Compared with subjects who consumed 1 to 7 drinks per week, those who never drank had an increased likelihood of having high levels of both IL-6 and CRP, as did those who drank 8 or more drinks per week. We found no relationship between alcohol intake and levels of TNF-α and PAI-1 (P=0.137 and 0.08, respectively). Conclusions-In well-functioning older persons, light alcohol consumption is associated with lower levels of IL-6 and CRP. These results might suggest an additional biological explanation to the epidemiological link between moderate alcohol consumption and cardiovascular events.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)607-612
Number of pages6
JournalCirculation
Volume109
Issue number5
DOIs
StatePublished - Feb 10 2004
Externally publishedYes

Keywords

  • Aging
  • Alcohol
  • Epidemiology
  • Inflammation
  • Interleukins

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Cardiology and Cardiovascular Medicine
  • Physiology (medical)

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