Introduction: The cardio-protective effect of alcohol has been the subject of a long-standing scientific controversy. Emerging evidence remains equivocal, as the validity of the dose-dependent J-shape association is tainted by conceptual, theoretical and methodological problems. A major impediment for a resolution on the matter is the lack of a lifelong developmental approach to pinpoint alcohol's specific impact on the risk for cardio-vascular events (CVE).
Objective: Using retrospective and prospective individual-level data of alcohol consumption (AC) we applied a model-based clustering technique to uncover life-course trajectories of AC and explored their links to CVE.
Methods: Data stemmed from a random sub-cohort of a large-scale, longitudinal study conducted in the Netherlands (N = 2288). Group Based Trajectory Model (GBTM) was applied to extract distinct progressions of AC over time. Stratified by sex, the association between the developmental trajectories and CVE was examined with multiple logistic regression models, with adjustment for traditional risk factors.
Results: GBTM analysis laid bare the heterogeneity of AC dynamics over the life-course, reiterating sex differences in drinking habits and CVE risk. AC temporal behaviors during adolescence and adulthood were diverse, but showed relative stability in in middle-age and elderly years. For males, adjusted odds for CVE differed among the uncovered developmental classes.
Conclusions: The findings elicited supportive evidence for a J-shape, but with a new twist. Besides moderation the results indicate that onset, timing, duration and stability of AC over the life-course are major aspects to be accounted for when attempting to elucidate alcohol's cardio-vascular role. (C) 2017 The Authors. Published by Elsevier Ireland Ltd.
- Alcohol's cardio-protection
- Group-based multitrajectory model
- Developmental origins of health and disease
- Lifecourse approach
- DOSE-RESPONSE METAANALYSIS
- TYPE-2 DIABETES-MELLITUS
- ALL-CAUSE MORTALITY
- MODERATE DRINKING