The drinking during adolescence and young adulthood is associated with the acceleration of arterial stiffness, a precursor of cardiovascular disease , concludes a study presented at the Congress of the European Society of Cardiology ESC 2021.
“There was some evidence of a gradual increase with heavier use, which means that the more you drink, the greater the increase in arterial stiffness,” explains study author Hugo Walford, a medical student at University College London. – The relationship was not explained by other factors that predispose to heart disease, suggesting that risky behavior during this period has a direct effect on vascular health. “
As people age, their arteries naturally become stiffer and less elastic. Stiffer arteries are associated with an increased risk of heart disease and stroke. Some behaviors can accelerate arterial hardening. For example, previous research has shown that smoking tobacco and drinking alcohol are linked to hardening of the arteries in teens.
Although it has a sedative effect and you will probably fall asleep more easily, the truth is that it can affect your sleep, causing you to wake up at night. Better to reduce its consumption to the maximum at night.
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Given that youth is a critical period for the initiation and intensive consumption of tobacco and alcohol, this study focused on the changes in arterial stiffness between 17 and 24 years of age and the relationship with these habits.
The study included 1,655 participants from the Avon Longitudinal Study of Parents And Children (ALSPAC) ages 17 to 24. Alcohol and smoking were measured at the ages of 17 and 24 years and the results were combined at the two time points.
Alcohol consumption was classified as never, medium (4 drinks or less on a typical drinking day), and high (more than 5 drinks on a typical drinking day). Tobacco use was classified as never, past, medium (fewer than 10 cigarettes a day), and high (10 or more cigarettes a day).
Arterial stiffness was assessed at the ages of 17 and 24 using a non-invasive technique called carotid-femoral pulse wave velocity , which is a strong and independent predictor of future cardiovascular disease, especially in young people.
The researchers examined the associations between smoking and drinking habits and changes in arterial stiffness between the ages of 17 and 24. Tests were adjusted for age, sex, and socioeconomic status , in addition to the following measures at age 24: body mass index, blood pressure, low-density lipoprotein (LDL) cholesterol, blood glucose , and protein. C reactive (a measure of inflammation).
Alcohol consumption between the ages of 17 and 24 was classified as never, medium, and high in 7%, 52%, and 41% of the participants, respectively. Tobacco use during this period was classified as never, past, medium and high in 37%, 35%, 23% and 5% of the participants , respectively.
Arterial stiffness increased an average of 10.3% between the ages of 17 and 24 , with a slightly greater increase in women than in men. Arterial stiffness increased with each point of increase in the mean alcohol score. No gradual increase in arterial stiffness was observed with the mean smoking score.
Although high intensity smokers had a greater numerical increase in arterial stiffness than never smokers, this only reached statistical significance in women. Changes in arterial stiffness between 17 and 24 years do not differ between former smokers and those who have never smoked.
Walford notes that “the results suggest that arterial damage occurs in young drinkers and in young women who smoke heavily. Never smokers and ex-smokers had similar changes in arterial stiffness, indicating that quitting smoking can restore vascular health at this early age “.
“Drunkenness is often a normal experience for students , and the decline in the prevalence of smoking in the UK is being challenged by the sharp increase in the use of e-cigarettes,” he adds. “Young people may believe that drinking and drinking Smoking does not cause long-term harm . However, these results indicate that these behaviors could put young people on a life path that begins with early arterial hardening , which can eventually lead to heart disease and stroke. “