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Alcohol intake and cerebral abnormalities on magnetic resonance imaging in a community-based population of middle-aged adults: the Atherosclerosis Risk in Communities (ARIC) study.

TitleAlcohol intake and cerebral abnormalities on magnetic resonance imaging in a community-based population of middle-aged adults: the Atherosclerosis Risk in Communities (ARIC) study.
Publication TypeJournal Article
Year of Publication2004
AuthorsDing J, Eigenbrodt ML, Mosley TH, Hutchinson RG, Folsom AR, Harris TB, Nieto JF
JournalStroke
Volume35
Issue1
Pagination16-21
Date Published2004 Jan
ISSN1524-4628
KeywordsAfrican Continental Ancestry Group, Age Distribution, Alcohol Drinking, Atrophy, Brain Diseases, Brain Infarction, Cohort Studies, Comorbidity, Continental Population Groups, Cross-Sectional Studies, European Continental Ancestry Group, Female, Humans, Linear Models, Logistic Models, Magnetic Resonance Imaging, Male, Mass Screening, Middle Aged, Mississippi, North Carolina, Risk, Sex Distribution
Abstract

BACKGROUND AND PURPOSE: Although the risks associated with heavy drinking for increased stroke and neurodegenerative changes are well established, the effects on the brain of low to moderate alcohol intake are unclear. Subclinical cerebral abnormalities identified on MRI have been associated with neurocognitive decline and incident stroke. We examined the associations of alcohol intake with MRI-defined cerebral abnormalities in a middle-aged, population-based cohort.

METHODS: During 1993-1994, a total of 1909 middle-aged adults (40% men and 49% blacks) from 2 communities in the Atherosclerosis Risk in Communities (ARIC) Study (Forsyth County, North Carolina, and Jackson, Miss) underwent a cerebral MRI examination. Trained neuroradiologists coded the images for the presence of infarction and the extent (10-point scale) of white matter lesions, ventricular size, and sulcal size.

RESULTS: In logistic regression analyses, there was no association between alcohol intake and the presence of MRI infarction. In linear regression analyses, alcohol intake was not associated with white matter grade. However, intake of each additional alcoholic drink per week was associated with a 0.01 grade greater ventricular size (P=0.03) and a 0.009 grade greater sulcal size (P=0.02) after adjustment for age, sex, race, body mass index, smoking, income, sports index, and diabetes. The positive associations of alcohol intake with ventricular and sulcal size were consistent across sex and race subgroups.

CONCLUSIONS: A protective effect of low to moderate alcohol intake on cerebral infarction was not found; moreover, increased alcohol intake was associated with brain atrophy.

DOI10.1161/01.STR.0000105929.88691.8E
Alternate JournalStroke
PubMed ID14657449
Grant ListN01-HC-55015 / HC / NHLBI NIH HHS / United States
N01-HC-55016 / HC / NHLBI NIH HHS / United States
N01-HC-55018 / HC / NHLBI NIH HHS / United States
N01-HC-55019 / HC / NHLBI NIH HHS / United States
N01-HC-55020 / HC / NHLBI NIH HHS / United States
N01-HC-55021 / HC / NHLBI NIH HHS / United States
N01-HC-55022 / HC / NHLBI NIH HHS / United States