Frequency of beer, wine, and spirits drinking and inebriation by alcohol were associated with serum lipids and blood pressure in 14,667 free-living men and women aged 20 to 54 years. Regression analysis including several background variables revealed that alcohol was more "favourably" associated with coronary risk factors than previously reported, due to the small consumption of alcohol in the population (only 2.0% of men and 0.3% of women reported drinking every day) or to unknown confounding factors: wine (p less than 0.05) and inebriation (p less than 0.01) were inversely related with total cholesterol in women; the strong positive relation with HDL-cholesterol in both sexes previously reported was confirmed; beer (p less than 0.05) and inebriation p(less than 0.05) in men and spirits (p less than 0.01) in women seemed to decrease triglycerides; and a new observation may be the negative association between wine and blood pressure (systolic p less than 0.01 in both sexes) as opposed to the positive relation with beer (p less than 0.01 both pressures in men) and spirits (p less than 0.05 systolic pressure and p less than 0.01 diastolic pressure in men and p less than 0.05 diastolic pressure in women). Women showed more "favourable effects" of alcohol than men, and one reason may be that they drank less often. Wine gave lower risk factor readings than beer, and especially lower than spirits.
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