The relationship between alcohol consumption and arterial stiffness within a young male population
Cardiff Metropolitan University
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Aim: Moderate alcohol consumption has been suggested to protect against heart disease. Heavy drinking, and binge drinking has been considered to have a detrimental effect upon cardiovascular health. Arterial stiffness is a measurement of atherosclerotic arterial damage and cardiovascular risk. The aim of this study was to test the relationship between alcohol consumption and arterial stiffness using a student population. The relationship between VO2max and arterial stiffness was also measured, this established whether high aerobic fitness levels can buffer the detrimental effects of heavy alcohol consumption upon arterial stiffness. Method: 11 young males, aged 18-22 years were recruited, alcohol intake was analysed from an AUDIT questionnaire and arterial stiffness was non-invasively assessed by pulse wave velocity measurement of the carotid artery. A VO2max test was used to assess fitness levels. Results: All pulse wave velocity measurements were within normal range (4.7 m/s -7.6 m/s), whilst VO2max were highly varied (range from 37 ml/kg/min to 73 ml/kg/min). Participants were divided into two groups following the analysis of the AUDIT questionnaire: Harmful (AUDIT score 8+) vs. Not Harmful (score 0-7). No significant relationships were found between drinking habits and arterial stiffness (P<0.195 R=0.4423). No significant relationship was found between arterial stiffness and VO2max (P<0.724 R=-0.121) Conclusion: Within males aged 18-22 there is no relationship between alcohol consumption and pulse wave velocity, suggesting that alcohol consumption does not affect arterial stiffness at a young age.
DEGREE OF BACHELOR OF SCIENCE (HONOURS) SPORT AND EXERCISE SCIENCE
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