Drinking alcohol to lower the risk of venous thrombosis?

July 4, 2013

Wine and beer in moderate doses may protect against venous thrombosis, but consumption of more than 14 standard drinks per week increases the risk of the same condition, in particular pulmonary embolism, in both men and women, found Marianne Tang Severinsen, PhD, Senior Consultant, Department of Hematology, Aalborg University Hospital, Denmark, whose paper is published in Thrombosis and Haemostasis this month.

When asked why she and her colleagues did the Danish follow-up study, the researcher explained that while it is well established that low to is associated with a lower risk of arterial thrombosis, data on its effect on are limited and the results are inconsistent. Yet venous thromboembolism, deep-vein thrombosis and are multifactorial diseases that share several risk factors with arterial thrombosis such as age, obesity and smoking. It was assumed that alcohol consumption may reduce the risk of idiopathic venous thromboembolism because it exerts anti-thrombotic effects by decreasing platelet aggregation, increasing tissue plasminogen activator levels and lowering fibrinogen levels. Heavy drinking, however, may provoke venous thromboembolism if mediated through cancer.

"We aimed to assess the association between venous thromboembolism and average daily , types of alcohol, and alcohol drinking patterns in men and women," she said. The study involved 27,178 men and 29,876 women and the median follow-up time was 10.2 years.

The paper's main conclusions in a nutshell - The findings of the study were significant for men but not for women: There may be a small protective effect of on the risk of venous thrombosis in men who drink between four to 14 drinks per week. Apparently they have a lower risk of venous thrombosis than those who consume more or less liquor. When beer and were compared with each other in regard to total alcohol consumption, no differences in risks were found. Wine and beer drinkers alike benefitted from a small beneficial effect of moderate alcohol intake. Thus the authors concluded that either wine or beer in moderate doses seems to protect against venous thromboses in men. Yet intake of more than 14 standard drinks per week should be avoided.

Explore further: Study adds to evidence on clot risks of non-oral contraceptives

More information: Gaborit FS, Overvad K, Nørgaard M, et al. Alcohol intake and risk of Venous Thromboembolism: A Danish Follow-up Study. Thromb Haemost 2013; 110: 39-45. dx.doi.org/10.1160/TH12-10-0790

Related Stories

Major illness increases venous thrombosis risk

November 3, 2012

(HealthDay)—People with major illnesses, including liver or kidney disease, rheumatoid arthritis, multiple sclerosis, heart failure, hemorrhagic stroke, or arterial thrombosis, have an increased risk of venous thrombosis ...

Recommended for you

Zika virus may persist in the vagina days after infection

August 25, 2016

The Zika virus reproduces in the vaginal tissue of pregnant mice several days after infection, according to a study by Yale researchers. From the genitals, the virus spreads and infects the fetal brain, impairing fetal development. ...

In sub-Saharan Africa, cancer can be an infectious disease

August 26, 2016

In 1963, Irish surgeon Denis Parson Burkitt airmailed samples of an unusual jaw tumor found in Ugandan children to his colleague, Anthony Epstein, at Middlesex Hospital in London. Epstein, an expert in chicken viruses and ...

0 comments

Please sign in to add a comment. Registration is free, and takes less than a minute. Read more

Click here to reset your password.
Sign in to get notified via email when new comments are made.