A recent study reported by researchers in the Journal of Hypertension indicates that hypertensive patients could reduce their cardiovascular morbidity and improve their atherosclerotic risk profile by consuming alcohol on a regular basis. The researchers indicated that serum lipoprotein(a), a powerful predictor of organ damage, was reduced with regular alcohol consumption. The researchers studied 402 patients with untreated essential hypertension to assess the links between drinking and serum lipoprotein(a) over a wide range of alcohol intake levels. They also investigated whether the association between alcohol intake and serum lipoprotein(a) concentrations occurred over the whole spectrum of apo(a) phenotypes.
The investigators found that there was no difference in lipoprotein(a) concentrations between teetotallers and occasional drinkers. However, they found that median lipoprotein(a) concentrations were 21% lower in light drinkers (those consuming up to 20 grams of ethanol daily), 26% lower in moderate drinkers (21-50 grams daily) and 57% lower in heavy drinkers (over 50 grams daily) when compared to teetotallers and occasional drinkers. These findings were similar to both men and women. They also studied the frequency distributions of apo(a) isoforms and liver function parameters and log lipoprotein(a) concentrations. They found that the former were comparable across these intake groups while the latter(log lipoprotein(a)) were inversely and independently correlated with alcohol consumption in hypertensives of both sexes.
Researchers concluded that lipoprotein(a) is inversely and dose-dependently related to alcohol intake in hypertensive patients, and that this relationship was independent of the size distribution of apo(a) isoforms.