The impact of long-term moderate and heavy alcohol consumption on incident atherosclerosis among persons living with HIV

N. E. Kelso-Chichetto, M. Plankey, D. S. Sheps, A. G. Abraham, X. Chen, S. Shoptaw, R. C. Kaplan, W. S. Post, R. L. Cook

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

6 Scopus citations


Background Level of alcohol consumption is associated with differential risk of atherosclerosis, but little research has investigated this association among HIV+ persons. We evaluated the association between long-term alcohol use and incident atherosclerosis among HIV+ persons. Methods We utilized data from HIV+ participants of the Women's Interagency HIV Study (n = 483) and the Multicenter AIDS Cohort Study (n = 305) without history of cardiovascular disease. Atherosclerosis was assessed two times by B-mode carotid artery ultrasound imaging from 2004 to 2013. Presence of plaque was defined as focal carotid intima-media thickness over 1.5 mm. Those with no plaque at baseline and plaque at follow-up were considered incident cases of atherosclerosis. Group-based trajectory models were used to categorize participants into 10-year drinking patterns representing heavy, moderate, or abstinent-low. Multivariable logistic regressions were conducted to assess the association of long-term moderate and heavy use on atherosclerosis, compared to abstinent-low. Results Heavy alcohol consumption was not statistically significantly associated with risk for incident atherosclerosis in women (AOR 1.10, CI 0.40–3.02) or men (AOR 1.31, CI 0.43–4.00), compared to abstinence-low. Moderate consumption was associated with 54% lower odds for incident disease in men (AOR 0.46, CI 0.21–1.00), but not in women (AOR 1.08, CI 0.58–2.00). In cohort-combined analyses, alcohol consumption was not statistically significantly association with incident atherosclerosis (moderate AOR 0.78, CI 0.48–1.27; heavy AOR 1.33, CI 0.66–2.69). Conclusion Moderate alcohol consumption was associated with a significant protective effect on incident atherosclerosis in men only. No other levels of alcohol consumption significantly predicted atherosclerosis in men and women compared to abstinent-low.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)235-241
Number of pages7
JournalDrug and Alcohol Dependence
StatePublished - Dec 1 2017


  • Alcohol
  • Atherosclerosis
  • Cardiovascular disease
  • Carotid artery
  • HIV
  • Longitudinal
  • Subclinical

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Toxicology
  • Pharmacology
  • Psychiatry and Mental health
  • Pharmacology (medical)


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