Alcohol intake and blood lipids

Alcohol intake is positively associated with HDL cholesterol in male patients

In male patients who have had a heart attack, total alcohol intake was positively associated with HDL cholesterol. An intake of at least 15 g/day alcohol was associated with a significantly greater HDL cholesterol level of on average 0.060 mmol/L. Female patients with an intake of at least 5 g/day alcohol had also a 0.060 mmol/L greater HDL cholesterol level. However, due to small numbers this association was not statistically significant. Liquor was also positively associated with HDL cholesterol in male patients. Total cholesterol and triglycerides were not related to alcohol intake.

Interpretation

These results suggest that the association of alcohol intake with HDL cholesterol may be explained by ethanol and not by other benificial substances in specific types of alcoholic beverages. This population consisted of 78% male patients and only 22% was female. Further research is needed especially in female patients to find out whether ethanol and different types of alcoholic beverages are related to HDL cholesterol.

Reference