The risk of aortic valve sclerosis can be modified. This is an important fact. Aortic valve sclerosis (thickening) is a common health problem. It’s especially so in developed countries. It increases the risk of death from cardiovascular causes by about 50%.
The risk of aortic valve sclerosis increases with specific factors.
- Being older
- Smoking tobacco
- Being male
- Hypertension (high blood pressure)
- High lipoprotein (Lp) (a) level
- Diabetes mellitus
- Having had rheumatic fever
- High low-density lipoprotein (LDL) level
Can drinking reduce the risk of aortic valve sclerosis (AVS)? To examined that question researchers looked at average daily drinking and risk of aortic valve sclerosis. They gathered data from 2,022 persons aged 45 to 81. The average quantity and frequency of drinking over the previous 30 days was calculated. The incidence of AVS was also measured.
The prevalence of AVS was almost one-third (32.3%). Light to moderate drinking was linked with a lower risk of aortic valve sclerosis. Heavy drinking increased that risk. Average daily alcohol had a J-shaped association with risk of aortic valve sclerosis.
That is, moderate drinking reduced risk below that of abstaining. Heavy drinking raised it to that of not drinking. Very heavy drinking raised it above that of abstaining.
- Markus MR, et al. Light to moderate alcohol consumption is associated with lower risk of aortic valve sclerosis. The Study of Health in Pomerania (SHIP). Arter Thromb Vascu Bio. Published online 12 March 2015. pii: ATVBAHA.114.304831
Readings on risk of aortic valve sclerosis.
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- Rimm, E.B., et al. Review of moderate alcohol consumption and reduced risk of coronary heart disease. BMJ, 1996, 312, 731’“736.