South Korea: In a new study conducted by JiAe Shin and the team it was shown that in both men and women with high BP, smoking and drinking were linked to an increased risk of cardiovascular disease (CVD). Women were are a greater risk of CVD than did men among Korean adults with elevated BP. The findings of this study were published in Nutrition, Metabolism and Cardiovascular Diseases.

There is a scarcity of research on how tobacco and alcohol usage interact to increase cardiovascular disease risk. Three or more drinks per day of alcohol and cigarette smoking have similar, and likely synergistic, effects on certain types of cardiovascular disease. The leading causes of death worldwide are CVD and hypertension. As a result, the goal of this study was to look into the independent and combined effects of smoking and alcohol use on CVD risk in Koreans with high blood pressure (BP).

Adults aged 20–65 years old with the high blood pressure but no prior CVDs were chosen from the National Health Insurance Service-National Sample Cohort version 2.0, which included 59,391 men and 35,253 women who were followed up between 2009 and 2015. The multivariate Cox proportional hazard model was used to explore the relationship between CVD incidence and smoking pack-years and alcohol use.

The key findings of this study were as follows:

1. Women who smoked (10.1–20.0 pack-years) and drank alcohol (30.0 g/day) had increased CVD risks than the referent group.

2. Men who smoked, on the other hand, had a higher CVD risk only when their pack-years were >20.0, compared to nonsmokers.

3. Only non-smoking men consuming alcohol 1.0–29.9 g/day had a decreased CVD risk than non-smoking, non-drinking men (HR=0.90, 0.83–0.97) in the combined groups of those smoking and drinking.

4. Women who smoked 1.0-10.0 pack-years and drank less than 30.0 g of alcohol per day had a greater CVD risk (HR=1.25, 1.11–1.41) than non-smoking, non-drinking women (HR=1.25, 1.11–1.41).

By the end of this study the authors concluded that among Korean adults with high blood pressure, women had a higher CVD risk than men.

Reference: Shin JiAe, Paik HeeYoung, Joung Hyojee, Shin Sangah, Smoking and alcohol consumption influence the risk of cardiovascular diseases in Korean adults with elevated blood pressure, 2022, https://doi.org/10.1016/j.numecd.2022.06.004

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