1. Epidemiology and Global Health
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Alcohol consumption in the general population is associated with structural changes in multiple organ systems

  1. Evangelos Evangelou
  2. Hideaki Suzuki
  3. Wenjia Bai
  4. Raha Pazoki
  5. He Gao
  6. Paul M Matthews
  7. Paul Elliott  Is a corresponding author
  1. Department of Epidemiology and Biostatistics, School of Public Health, Imperial College London, United Kingdom
  2. Department of Hygiene and Epidemiology, University of Ioannina Medical School, Greece
  3. Department of Cardiovascular Medicine, Tohoku University Hospital, Japan
  4. Tohoku Medical Megabank Organization, Tohoku University, Japan
  5. Department of Brain Sciences, Imperial College London, United Kingdom
  6. Data Science Institute, Imperial College London, United Kingdom
  7. MRC Centre for Environment and Health, School of Public Health, Imperial College London, United Kingdom
  8. Division of Biomedical Sciences, Department of Life Sciences, College of Health, Medicine and Life Sciences, Brunel University London, United Kingdom
  9. UK Dementia Research Institute at Imperial College London, United Kingdom
  10. National Institute for Health Research Imperial College Biomedical Research Centre, Imperial College London, United Kingdom
  11. British Heart Foundation Centre for Research Excellence, Imperial College London, United Kingdom
Research Article
Cite this article as: eLife 2021;10:e65325 doi: 10.7554/eLife.65325
3 figures, 3 tables and 4 additional files

Figures

Flow chart of eligible participants included in analyses.
Partial residual plots for the imaging-derived phenotypes.

Partial residual plots for (a) normalised brain volume, (b) total grey volume, (c) total white volume, (d) left ventricular mass index, (e) left ventricular end-diastolic volume index, (f) left ventricular ejection fraction, (g) right ventricular end-diastolic volume index, (h) right ventricular ejection fraction, (i) left atrial volume index, (j) right atrial volume index, (k) ascending aortic area index, (l) descending aortic area index, (m) ascending aortic distensibility, (n) descending aborting distensibility, and (o) liver fat.

Voxel-wise associations of alcohol consumption with brain grey matter volumes (N = 10,143).

Highlighted clusters define regions in which reductions of spatially normalised grey matter volume are inversely correlated with log2-transformed alcohol consumption (g/d). The analysis suggests higher relative atrophy in the cingulate cortex (light blue arrowheads, A, B), thalamus (green arrowheads, A, C), orbital frontal cortex (red arrowheads, A, D), and insular cortex (dark blue arrowheads, C, D). Broken lines in (A) show levels for axial images in (B–D). The voxel-wise parametric model was adjusted for age, sex, ethnicity, body mass index, college degree education, hypertension, diabetes, and smoking history. The results are displayed on the MRI template available in SPM12 at axial slices of 46.5 mm (B), 6 mm (C), and –7.5 mm (D) relative to the bregma. The calibration bar provides the colour range use to describe t-scores calculated using a family-wise error (FWE)-corrected threshold of p<0.05.

Tables

Table 1
Participant characteristics.
Brain grey matterBrain white matterHeartAortaLiver
N10,143905311,82112,3763649
Baseline characteristics
Age (years) (mean ± SD)62.9 ± 7.462.9 ± 7.462.8 ± 7.463.0 ± 7.455.7 ± 7.5
Male (%)49.849.449.950.250.5
Caucasian (%)99.899.899.899.893.2
Educational attainment (%)53.253.553.552.953.1
Body mass index (mean ± SD)26.7 ± 4.426.6 ± 4.326.5 ± 4.326.5 ± 4.226.5 ± 4.1
Hypertension (%)39.639.339.039.146.5
Diabetes (%)5.25.04.74.92.5
Smoking history (%)39.739.438.639.136
Alcohol consumption (g/d) (median–IQR)14.29
(6.46–26.78)
14.29
(6.26–26.79)
14.29
(6.70–26.79)
14.29
(6.69–26.79)
16.61
(8.93–28.86)
Table 2
Structural imaging phenotypes for brain (N = 10,143), heart (N = 11,821), and aorta (N = 12,376) in the UK Biobank.
Imaging-derived phenotypesMean ± SD
Brain
Normalised brain volume0.72 ± 0.045
Normalised grey matter volume0.43 ± 0.034
Normalised white matter volume0.29 ± 0.020
Heart
Left ventricular mass index (g/m2)46.2 ± 8.5
Left ventricular end-diastolic volume index (ml/m2)80.0 ± 13.7
Left ventricular ejection fraction (%)59.6 ± 5.9
Left atrial volume index (ml/m2)38.8 ± 10.7
Right ventricular end-diastolic volume index (ml/m2)84.5 ± 15.4
Right ventricular ejection fraction (%)57.3 ± 6.0
Right atrial volume index (ml/m2)46.1 ± 13.1
Aorta
Ascending aortic area index (mm2/m2)455.3 ± 91.9
Ascending aortic distensibility (10−3mmHg−1)1.98 ± 1.17
Descending aortic area index (mm2/m2)254.1 ± 43.3
Descending aortic distensibility (10−3mmHg−1)2.64 ± 1.25
  1. SD: standard deviation.

Table 3
Associations of age and alcohol consumption with cardiac (N = 11,821) and aortic (N = 12,376) imaging phenotypes.
Aging/year, estimate* ± SEp-valueAlcohol, estimate* ± SEp-value
Heart
Left ventricular mass index−0.10 ± 0.011.3 × 10−310.36 ± 0.048.5 × 10−22
Left ventricular end-diastolic volume index−0.33 ± 0.026.0 × 10−900.61 ± 0.074.1 × 10−17
Left ventricular ejection fraction (%)0.04 ± 0.016.3 × 10−70.05 ± 0.030.16
Left atrial volume index (ml/m2)−0.12 ± 0.018.9 × 10−170.43 ± 0.066.0 × 10−12
Right ventricular end-diastolic volume index (ml/m2)−0.33 ± 0.025.6 × 10−800.57 ± 0.082.5 × 10−13
Right ventricular ejection fraction (%)0.04 ± 0.011.6 × 10−80.05 ± 0.030.13
Right atrial volume index (ml/m2)0.04 ± 0.026.9 × 10−30.26 ± 0.073.0 × 10−4
Aorta
Ascending aortic area index (mm2/m2)2.75 ± 0.114.0 × 10−1302.64 ± 0.501.5 × 10−7
Ascending aortic distensibility (10−3mmHg−1)−0.09 ± 0.001<1 × 10−300−0.006 ± 0.0050.22
Descending aortic area index (mm2/m2)1.86 ± 0.052.0 × 10−2911.34 ± 0.222.1 × 10−9
Descending aortic distensibility (10−3mmHg−1)−0.09 ± 0.001<1 × 10−300–0.02 ± 0.0057.5 × 10−4
  1. *Estimates ± SE define coefficients for cardiac and aortic imaging phenotype changes per year age or per doubling of alcohol consumption (g/d) with their standard errors. The aging model was adjusted for sex, ethnicity, body mass index, and prevalence of college degree education, hypertension, diabetes, and smoking history. The alcohol consumption model was adjusted for age, sex, ethnicity, body mass index, and prevalence of college degree education, hypertension, diabetes, and smoking history. SE, standard error.

Additional files

Supplementary file 1

Alcohol consumption (g/d) in all and males and females for brain grey matter (N = 10,143), brain white matter (N = 9053), heart (N = 11,821), aorta (N = 12,376), and liver (N = 3649).

https://cdn.elifesciences.org/articles/65325/elife-65325-supp1-v2.docx
Supplementary file 2

Coefficients for log2 alcohol and age in an expanded model for cardiac (N = 11,821) and aortic (N = 12,376) imaging phenotypes including tests of interactions between log2 alcohol and age.

https://cdn.elifesciences.org/articles/65325/elife-65325-supp2-v2.docx
Transparent reporting form
https://cdn.elifesciences.org/articles/65325/elife-65325-transrepform-v2.docx
Reporting standard 1

STROBE checklist.

https://cdn.elifesciences.org/articles/65325/elife-65325-repstand1-v2.docx

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