Influence of drinking alcohol on atherosclerotic risk in alcohol flushers and non-flushers of Oriental patients with type 2 diabetes mellitus.Alcohol Alcohol. 2006 Nov-Dec; 41(6):672-7.AA
Facial flushing caused by alcohol drinking is a typical symptom of high sensitivity to alcohol in orientals. We investigated whether drinking alcohol influences atherosclerotic risk factors in alcohol flushers and non-flushers in patients with diabetes mellitus.
A cross-sectional study was performed using 225 subjects with type 2 diabetes. Sensitivity to alcohol was surveyed by a questionnaire on facial flushing. Subjects were divided into three groups by average amount of alcohol drinking (non-drinkers; light drinkers: <140 g/week; heavy drinkers: 140 g/week or more).
Systolic blood pressure and blood HDL cholesterol were significantly higher in heavy drinkers than in non-drinkers. There were no significant differences in body mass index, blood pressure, blood total cholesterol, HDL cholesterol, uric acid, fibrinogen and sialic acid levels in flushers and non-flushers. In alcohol flushers, diastolic blood pressure and HDL cholesterol in heavy drinkers were significantly higher than those in non-drinkers, and systolic blood pressure was significantly higher in heavy drinkers than in non-drinkers and light drinkers. On the other hand, blood pressure and HDL cholesterol in non-flushers were not significantly different among non-, light and heavy drinkers. Serum total cholesterol was not significantly different among the three drinking groups both in flushers and non-flushers.
Blood pressure and HDL cholesterol are more prone to be affected by drinking in flushers than in non-flushers, suggesting that alcohol sensitivity evaluated by flushing response due to drinking alcohol should be taken into account when the effects of alcohol drinking on atherosclerotic risk factors are considered in oriental patients with type 2 diabetes mellitus.