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Types of alcoholic beverages and blood lipids in a French population
  1. J-B Ruidavets1,
  2. P Ducimetiére2,
  3. D Arveiler3,
  4. P Amouyel4,
  5. A Bingham2,
  6. A Wagner3,
  7. D Cottel4,
  8. B Perret5,
  9. J Ferriéres1
  1. 1Department of Epidemiology, INSERM U558, Faculty of Medicine, Toulouse, France
  2. 2INSERM U258, Paul Brousse Hospital, Villejuif, France
  3. 3Department of Epidemiology, Faculty of Medicine, Strasbourg, France
  4. 4Department of Epidemiology, INSERM U508, Pasteur Institute of Lille, France
  5. 5Department of Biochemistry, INSERM U326, La Grave Hospital, Toulouse, France
  1. Correspondence to:
 Dr J-B Ruidavets, INSERM U558, Département d'épidémiologie, Faculté de médecine, 37, allées Jules Guesde, 31073 Toulouse cedex, France;


Study objective: Prospective studies have shown a consistent relation between alcohol consumption and decreasing incidence of coronary artery disease. The protective effect of alcohol could be mediated through increased levels of HDL cholesterol (HDL-c). The aim of this study was to examine the relation between blood lipid levels and the consumption of different types of alcoholic beverages among 1581 men and 1535 women.

Design: Data from representative cross sectional surveys (1994–1997) in three different regions of France were used. The consumption of the different types of alcohol was quantified using a recall method according to a typical weekly consumption.

Main results: The median daily alcohol intake was 24 g for men and 4 g for women. After adjustment for confounders, total alcohol showed a positive and significant association with HDL-c and triglycerides (TG) in both sexes. In multivariate analysis, wine was positively associated with HDL-c. Beer was positively associated with HDL-c in men and with triglycerides in men and women. When taking drinking patterns into account, wine drinkers had higher HDL-c levels than non-wine drinkers. Differences became non-significant after adjustment for confounders and particularly for socioeconomic parameters.

Conclusions: In a French population sample, total alcohol was positively associated with HDL-c and triglycerides. The specific influence of any particular alcoholic beverage on blood lipids was not clearly demonstrated but wine preference found in a group with higher lifestyle standards was associated with a more favourable blood lipid profile.

  • HDL-c
  • HDL cholesterol

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