International Scientific Forum on Alcohol Research Critique 117: Alcohol Intake Changes and the Effect on Fibrinogen

By | 22 July 2013

The latest critique from ISFAR looks at research linking changes to alcohol intake with levels of Fibrinogen

The latest critique from ISFAR looks at research linking changes to alcohol intake with levels of Fibrinogen

A prospective analysis of data from 2,520 subjects in the Coronary Artery Risk Development in Young Adults Study (CARDIA) cohort-related reported alcohol intake at two examinations, 13 years apart, to levels of fibrinogen on the two occasions.

Fibrinogen is a strong determinant of thrombosis, and is an important risk factor for coronary heart disease.

The authors report that, in comparison with participants who never drank, those who became or stayed drinkers had smaller increases in fibrinogen, while those who quit drinking had the highest increase in fibrinogen over 13 years of follow-up. They conclude that increases in fibrinogen may be a key mechanism for the established protective effect of moderate alcohol intake on cardiovascular disease outcomes. 

Forum reviewers considered this to be a potentially important paper, as the finding of higher fibrinogen among those who do not drink and those who quit drinking may relate to the higher risk of coronary disease commonly reported from such subjects in prospective studies.

However, the reviewers point out that the reasons that subjects quit drinking are not known (although the authors did adjust for conditions related to quitting drinking). Further, blood clotting factors other than fibrinogen may be affected by changes in alcohol consumption, and they were not reported in this paper.

More research will be needed to determine if changes in fibrinogen levels are key elements in alcohol’s effects on cardiovascular disease.

To read the full critique, click here.

These critiques are published by just-drinks with the permission of ISFAR.

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International Scientific Forum on Alcohol Research Critique 117: Alcohol Intake Changes and the Effect on Fibrinogen

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