Publications

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    ABSTRACT: The aim was to evaluate the accuracy, precision and feasibility of semi-automatic border detection software (AMS) in comparison to manual electronic calipers (EC) in the analysis of arterial images obtained with transcutaneous very-high resolution vascular ultrasound (VHRU, 25-55 MHz). 100 images from central elastic and peripheral muscular arteries were obtained on two separate imaging occasions from 10 healthy subjects, and independently measured with AMS and EC. No bias between AMS and EC was found. The intraobserver coefficients of variation (CV) for carotid lumen dimension (mean dimension 5.60 mm) was lower with AMS compared with EC (0.4 vs. 1.9%, p = 0.033; N = 20). No consistently significant differences in intra, inter or test-retest CVs were observed overall for muscular artery dimensions between AMS and EC. The intra CV for adventitial thickness (AT, mean 0.111 mm; 15.6 vs 24.8%, p = 0.011; N = 41) and inter CV for intima-media thickness (IMT, mean 0.219 mm; 14.3 vs. 21.2%, p = 0.001; N = 58) obtained with AMS in higher quality thin muscular artery images was lower compared with EC. The mean reading time was significantly lower with AMS compared with EC (71.5 s vs. 156.6 s, p < 0.001). AMS is accurate, precise, and feasible in the analysis of arterial images obtained with VHRU. Minor, although statistically significant, differences in the precision of AMS and EC-systems were found. The precision of AMS was superior for AT and IMT in higher quality images likely related to a decrease in the technical variability imposed by the observer.
    Atherosclerosis 03/2014; 234(2):283-287. · 3.71 Impact Factor
  • Artery Research 12/2012; 6(4):155–156.
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    ABSTRACT: To develop a normative data set and to study the relationship among arterial structure, different anthropometric measures, blood pressure, and arterial function during healthy childhood using very-high-resolution ultrasound (25-55 MHz). In 135 healthy children between 0 and 18 years of age, we assessed the structure of the carotid arteries, larger peripheral arteries, aorta, and left ventricle with ultrasound. Arterial stiffness was assessed by pulse wave velocity and endothelial function by brachial flow-mediated dilation. Reference curves adjusted for age and body surface area of arterial lumen diameters, intima-media thickness, and adventitia thickness were developed. Arterial walls thicken during childhood predominantly as a result of a progressive increase in intima-media thickness. There were significant associations among lumen diameter (R(2) range, 0.20-0.88 for different arteries; P<0.001), intima-media thickness (R(2) range, 0.47-0.85; P<0.001), left ventricular mass (R(2)=0.90; P<0.001), and adventitia thickness (R(2) range, 0.15-0.22; P<0.001) with sex, age, body surface, and systolic blood pressure. Arterial wall stress was associated with lumen diameter (R(2) range, 0.52-0.83; P<0.001) and intima-media thickness (R(2) range, 0.53-0.88; P<0.001). Limited relationships were found among arterial wall layer thickness, stiffness, and endothelial function. In healthy children, the evolution of the arterial structure is mainly related to anthropometrics and blood pressure.
    Arteriosclerosis Thrombosis and Vascular Biology 07/2012; 32(10):2516-24. · 6.34 Impact Factor
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    ABSTRACT: To study the accuracy and feasibility of very-high resolution ultrasound (VHRU, 25-55 MHz) and conventional high resolution ultrasound (HRU, 12 MHz) in the assessment of common carotid intima-media thickness (IMT) in healthy children between 0 and 18 years of life. IMT was measured with VHRU and HRU in 135 children. Seventeen similar sized porcine arterial specimens were imaged with VHRU and HRU, and the IMT measurements compared to histology. Adequate imaging was obtained and IMT quantified in all children with 25 and 35 MHz, but the far wall was rarely reached with 55 MHz, even in small children. HRU-IMT was significantly thicker compared with VHRU-IMT in young children (<12 years; HRU: 0.434 ± 0.040 vs. VHRU: 0.341 ± 0.054 mm, N = 66; p < 0.001). No differences between HRU-IMT and VHRU-IMT were found among older children. No differences were found between far and near wall VHRU-IMT. An increase in porcine arterial IMT with decreasing transducer frequency was observed in comparison to histology. HRU-IMT was significantly overestimated compared with VHRU-IMT and histology-IMT in porcine vessels with an IMT within the pediatric range (0.20-0.50 mm). VHRU is feasible and more accurate than HRU in quantifying CIMT in young children (<12 years). We recommend using the highest ultrasound transducer frequency applicable to quantify CIMT in the pediatric population.
    Atherosclerosis 06/2012; 224(1):102-7. · 3.71 Impact Factor
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    ABSTRACT: To study the relations between postnatal maternal morbidity, child morbidity and welfare interventions in families with prenatal alcohol or substance abuse. A register-based longitudinal retrospective cohort study. The exposed cohort included 638 children born to 524 women followed-up during pregnancy for alcohol or substance abuse 1992-2001. Non-exposed children (n = 1914) born to control women were matched for maternal age, parity, number of foetuses, month of birth and delivery hospital of the index child. Perinatal and follow-up data of both cohorts were collected from national registers until 2007. Postnatal maternal abuse-related healthcare utilization and use of medication were associated with child out-of-home care. Significant differences were in particular observed in the categories of maternal mental and behavioural disorders caused by psychoactive substance use as well as injury and poisoning. Maternal inpatient care for mental and behavioural disorders peaked at the time of child out-of-home care. Maternal abuse-related healthcare utilization was associated with early child healthcare utilization and use of medication for mental and behavioural disorders. These associations were largely explained by the association with child out-of-home care. Postnatal maternal abuse-related morbidity is associated with significant early child morbidity, use of medication and timing of out-of-home care.
    Acta Paediatrica 03/2012; 101(7):784-90. · 1.97 Impact Factor
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    ABSTRACT: The Fontan circulation is associated with an increased central venous pressure, decreased ventricular preload, and increased afterload. We postulated that these central hemodynamic abnormalities would have consequences for the structural and functional properties of the peripheral arteries and veins, and performed a cross-sectional study in a tertiary health-care setting. We prospectively examined venous and arterial wall morphology by very high resolution ultrasound (VHRU, 25-55 MHz), and function by conventional vascular ultrasound (flow-mediated dilatation, FMD) and applanation tonometry (pulse wave velocity, PWV) in 28 patients after the Fontan procedure (age 14.8 ± 1.3 years) and 54 age-matched controls. Pig venous samples were studied with VHRU and compared with histology for accuracy. The precision of the venous VHRU method was studied in healthy volunteers. The lumen dimension was reduced in Fontans compared with controls in the common carotid, brachial, radial, and femoral arteries (p < 0.05). The common carotid, brachial, radial, ulnar, femoral, and dorsal tibial artery intima-media thicknesses (IMTs) and the brachial, ulnar, and femoral artery adventitial thicknesses were decreased (p < 0.05 for all), while the cubital and dorsal tibial vein IMTs were increased in Fontans (p < 0.001). FMD, abdominal aortic stiffness, and carotid-femoral PWV were similar, while carotid-radial artery PWV was increased in Fontans (p < 0.01). Venous wall layer assessment with VHRU was accurate and precise. The Fontan circulation is associated with significant arterial and venous remodeling, presumably reflecting abnormalities of central hemodynamics. These novel data may be of clinical importance in the circulatory management as well as the understanding of the early pathogenesis of vasculopathy in patients after the Fontan procedure.
    Heart and Vessels 02/2012; · 2.13 Impact Factor
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    ABSTRACT: Changes in vascular and myocardial structure and function have been demonstrated in obese children, but limited data are available on how these changes are related. The aims of this study were to investigate vascular and myocardial changes in obese children with lipid abnormalities and to study the interactions between vascular and myocardial parameters. A cross-sectional, prospective observational study was conducted. Twenty-one obese and 27 normal-weight controls aged 14 ± 2 years participated. Cardiac assessment included geometric parameters and myocardial deformation (strain and strain rate) analysis by color tissue Doppler and speckle-tracking echocardiography. Vascular assessment included carotid intima-media thickness, flow-mediated dilatation, pulse-wave velocity, and other stiffness measures of the aorta and carotid artery, as well as noninvasive estimation of arterial elastance and left ventricular (LV) end-systolic elastance. Obese children compared with controls had lower color tissue Doppler-derived LV systolic radial strain values (45 ± 11% vs 56 ± 12%, P = .002), lower speckle-tracking echocardiography-derived LV systolic longitudinal strain values (-18 ± 2% vs -21 ± 2%, P < .001), and lower speckle-tracking echocardiography-derived LV early diastolic strain rate values (1.7 ± 0.3 vs 2.5 ± 0.4, P < .001). Carotid intima-media thickness was increased, pulse-wave velocity was faster, and arterial distension coefficients were lower in obese children. The ratio of arterial elastance to LV end-systolic elastance (a marker of ventricular-arterial coupling) was lower in obese children than controls (0.73 ± 0.32 vs 0.47 ± 0.15, P = .003). Changes in vascular parameters were correlated with changes in longitudinal myocardial deformation parameters. Obese children with lipid abnormalities have reduced systolic and diastolic LV deformation characteristics, early vessel wall changes, and increased arterial stiffness. Abnormal ventricular-vascular interaction is suggested by these data and warrants further investigation.
    Journal of the American Society of Echocardiography: official publication of the American Society of Echocardiography 01/2012; 25(4):401-410.e1. · 2.98 Impact Factor
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    ABSTRACT: ObjectivesThe objective was to determine the severity of residual cardiovascular abnormalities in youths after coarctation of the aorta (CoA) repair and their relation to regional blood pressure (BP).DesignProspective cross-sectional study in tertiary health care setting.MethodsThirty-six CoAs (age 16±1 years; neonatal surgery only: n=16; surgery and/or stent implantation: n=20) and 37 age-matched controls were examined by very-high resolution ultrasound, echocardiography and applanation tonometry.ResultsCoA was associated with increased right arm systolic BP (p<0.001), intima-media thickness (IMT) in the common carotid (p<0.001), right brachial (p<0.05) and radial (p<0.05) arteries and ascending aortic stiffness (p<0.05). Carotid IMT correlated positively with age at first intervention (r=0.36, p<0.05). With left subclavian flap type repair, left arm systolic BP (p<0.001) and left brachial (p<0.001), radial (p<0.001) and ulnar (p<0.05) arterial IMTs were all reduced. When adjusted for BP, body mass index, age and gender, only carotid IMT (p<0.001) and LV-mass (p=0.013) of stented patients, as well as left arm arterial IMTs (p<0.01) in subclavian flap type repair patients remained different from controls. The significant associations of stented patients disappeared after adjustment for later patient age at intervention (median 8.7 vs 0.03 years, p<0.001). Residual arm-leg BP gradients correlated positively with carotid and brachial IMT.ConclusionCoA repair in early childhood is associated with increased preductal arterial IMT, LV mass and ascending aortic stiffness in adolescents. The more pronounced cardiovascular abnormalities after CoA stent implantation are likely related to the older patient age at the time of intervention.
    Heart (British Cardiac Society) 09/2011; 97(22):1870-5. · 5.01 Impact Factor
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    ABSTRACT: Atherosclerosis begins during early life and is accelerated in individuals with cardiovascular risk factors. We hypothesized that very-high resolution ultrasound (VHRU, 25-55 MHz) could feasibly detect early arterial changes in adolescents with risk factors. We prospectively imaged the carotid, brachial and radial arterial morphology (far wall intima-media thickness, IMT; adventitia thickness, AT) by VHRU in 58 youths (age 14 ± 2 years) attending a Pediatric Preventive Cardiology Clinic for assessment and management of cardiovascular risk factors and compared the findings to those from an age-matched group of 67 controls. Brachial and radial imaging was successful for all subjects. The carotid far wall could not be imaged in 7% of the patients due to limitations in penetration. VHRU image quality was related to body size and imaging depth. Imaging and analysis time were 12 ± 3 and 18 ± 3 min, respectively. Carotid IMT was increased in patients (0.42 ± 0.05 vs. 0.40 ± 0.06 mm, p = 0.05). No differences were found in brachial or radial IMT or AT vs. controls. Age, male gender, body mass index, systolic blood pressure (BP), but not lipid levels, were associated with arterial IMT in regression analyses. VHRU is feasible in imaging carotid and peripheral muscular artery IMT in adolescents. The arterial IMT is associated with age, gender, adiposity and systolic BP, but not lipid levels, in this adolescent population. Further studies including patients with manifest clinical atherosclerosis are needed to assess if VHRU has applications in atherosclerosis research.
    Atherosclerosis 08/2011; 219(2):610-5. · 3.71 Impact Factor
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    ABSTRACT: Coarctation of the aorta (CoA) has been associated with abnormal vascular function, increased blood pressure (BP) and premature cardiovascular disease even after a successful intervention. The objective was to determine the severity of residual cardiovascular abnormalities in youths after CoA repair and their relation to regional BP. Cross-sectional study in tertiary healthcare setting. Thirty-six youths with CoA (age 16±1 years; neonatal surgery only: n=16; surgery and/or stent implantation: n=20) and 37 age-matched controls were prospectively examined using a very-high-resolution vascular ultrasound imaging, echocardiography and applanation tonometry. CoA was associated with increased right arm systolic BP (p<0.001), intima-media thickness (IMT) in the common carotid (p<0.001), right brachial (p<0.05) and radial (p<0.05) arteries and ascending aortic stiffness (p<0.05). Carotid IMT correlated positively with age at first intervention (r=0.36, p<0.05). With left subclavian flap-type repair, left-arm systolic BP (p<0.001) and left brachial (p<0.001), radial (p<0.001) and ulnar (p<0.05) arterial IMTs were all reduced. When adjusted for BP, body mass index, age and gender, only carotid IMT (p<0.001) and left ventricular mass (p=0.013) of stented patients, as well as left-arm arterial IMTs (p<0.01) in subclavian flap-type repair patients, remained different from the controls. The significant associations of the stented patients disappeared after the adjustment for later patient age at intervention (median 8.7 vs 0.03 years, p<0.001). Residual arm-leg BP gradients correlated positively with carotid and brachial IMT. No differences between the CoA patients and the controls were found for arterial adventitial thicknesses, lumen dimensions, thigh systolic BP, abdominal aorta and carotid stiffness and right carotid to radial pulse wave velocity. CoA repair in early childhood is associated with increased preductal arterial IMT, left ventricular mass and ascending aortic stiffness in adolescents. The more pronounced cardiovascular abnormalities after CoA stent implantation are likely related to older patient age at the time of intervention.
    Heart (British Cardiac Society) 07/2011; 97(21):1788-93. · 5.01 Impact Factor
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    ABSTRACT: Early childhood healthcare utilization, mortality and welfare interventions were studied among children of mothers with identified gestational alcohol and/or substance abuse. Register-based retrospective cohort study. The exposed cohort consisted of 638 children born to 524 women followed up antenatally 1992-2001 at special outpatient clinics in the capital area of Finland. Nonexposed children (n = 1914) born to control women were matched for maternal age, parity, number of foetuses, month of birth and delivery hospital of the index child. Postnatal data of both cohorts were collected from national registers until 2007. The exposed cohort displayed twice the amount of in- and outpatient hospital care episodes compared with nonexposed children. Differences attributable to exposure were found in categories of conditions originating in the perinatal period, mental and behavioural disorders, and nonspecific factors influencing health status and contact with health services. This was reflected in amounts of reimbursements for drugs of the central nervous system, as well as special care allowances and rehabilitation for mental and behavioural disorders. The highest degree of healthcare utilization was observed among exposed children placed in out-of-home care. One-third of these children received outpatient care and one-tenth required inpatient care for a mental and behavioural disorder. No significant differences were found in early mortality. The exposed children displayed significant neonatal and early mental and behavioural healthcare utilization, and need for significant psychosocial support during their first decade of life.
    Acta Paediatrica 04/2011; 100(10):1379-85. · 1.97 Impact Factor
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    ABSTRACT: A register-based retrospective case-control study to investigate the long-term morbidity, mortality, and welfare among women with alcohol and/or substance misuse identified during pregnancy. Cohort of 524 women followed-up ante- and perinatally 1992-2001 at special out-patient clinics of maternity hospitals in the capital area of Finland. The control group of 1792 women with no evidence of alcohol or substance misuse was matched for maternal age, parity, date of birth and hospital of index delivery. Both groups were followed-up until end of 2007. 7.9% (42/524) of the cases and 0.2% (4/1792) of the controls had died by the end of the median follow-up of 9 years (OR 38, 95% CI 14-108). The cases displayed significant morbidity requiring in-patient care in the areas of mental disorders (AOR 8.8, 95% CI 6.5-11.9), viral (AOR 23.5, 95% CI 8.8-62.7) and bacterial (AOR 6.1, 95% CI 3.5-10.4) infections, skin diseases (AOR 3.9, 95% CI 2.0-7.8) and injury and poisoning (AOR 4.2, 95% CI 3.1-5.6). The cases displayed more out-patient visits (OR 2.7, 95% CI 2.7-2.8). Their mean length of hospital stay was longer compared to controls (10.3 vs. 4.4 days, p<0.001). The risk of pension granted due to a disorder, disease or disability (OR 8.8, 95% CI 6.0-13.0) and the risk for minimum unemployment benefit were higher compared to controls (OR 2.1, 95% CI 1.8-2.5). These women display significant long-term morbidity, mortality and loss of productivity after delivery. The results emphasize the importance of adequate postnatal follow-up and treatment for misuse.
    Drug and alcohol dependence 10/2010; 111(3):215-21. · 3.60 Impact Factor
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    ABSTRACT: High-resolution ultrasound (HRU) is used to measure carotid intima-media thickness (IMT). We postulated that very-high-resolution ultrasound (VHRU, 25-55MHz) provides more detailed information on arterial morphology. Rabbit and pig arterial specimens and artificial elastin membranes were studied with HRU and VHRU, and compared to histology. Bilateral carotid, brachial, radial, ulnar, femoral, and tibial arteries were imaged in vivo in 15 humans to determine the precision of VHRU and in 53 teenagers to compare VHRU to HRU. The assessment of IMT, adventitia thickness (AT) and combined intima-media-adventitia thickness (IMAT) in muscular arteries was accurate and precise by VHRU with the exception that the AT of the smallest arteries was not delineated with 25MHz. VHRU was accurate and precise for IMAT in small and for IMT in large elastic arteries and allowed to qualitatively assess elastin fibers of the media. HRU was accurate for IMT of large muscular and elastic arteries only. Intima thickness (IT) was grossly overestimated by both VHRU and HRU. Transcutaneous VHRU provides a noninvasive method of quantifying elastic and muscular arterial AT, IMT and IMAT in children and adults, but neither VHRU nor HRU is able to assess IT in non-diseased vessels.
    Atherosclerosis 10/2010; 212(2):516-23. · 3.71 Impact Factor
  • Artery Research 01/2010; 4(4):179-179.
  • Artery Research 01/2010; 4(4):150-150.
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    ABSTRACT: Treatment of a single-ventricle heart defect involves redirecting of systemic venous blood returning to the heart to gradually flow directly into the pulmonary artery without the functional right side of the heart being involved. In developed countries, three out of four persons with this ailment will nowadays reach adulthood. Among these, at least one out of four presents significant associated problems and late complications. The most significant problems include heart failure, arrhythmias, cyanosis and thromboembolic complications that increase over time. In addition to these, neurological complications have an influence on the quality of life in some patients.
    Duodecim; lääketieteellinen aikakauskirja 02/2009; 125(3):275-82.
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    ABSTRACT: Pulmonary atresia with intact ventricular septum (PA+IVS) is a rare congenital cardiac malformation which is associated with ventriculocoronary arterial communications from the right ventricle. We present a case of PA+IVS with a bilateral atresia of the coronary ostia, and thus, a completely right ventricular-dependent coronary circulation followed up by fetal echocardiography. Eventually the infant died of myocardial infarction at 2 days of age.
    Fetal Diagnosis and Therapy 12/2008; 24(4):413-5. · 1.90 Impact Factor
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    ABSTRACT: To study the risk of children to mothers with alcohol and/or substance abuse related problems for early childhood out-of-home care in Finland. A population-based cross-sectional retrospective analysis of 526 pregnant women attending special outpatient clinics during 1992-2001 and their 626 offspring, with out-of-home care data until 2003 provided by the National Child Welfare Register. Fifty percent (95% confidence interval 46-54%) were at some point and 38% (34-42%) by the age of two years, in out-of-home care. Out-of-home care was associated with maternal care for substance abuse after delivery, nonemployment, housing, daily smoking during pregnancy, increasing number of previous births, mother in custody in her childhood, maternal education, previous child in custody, drug in urine during pregnancy, unplanned pregnancy, partner with significant abuse, regular health-care contact for abuse, daily alcohol consumption before and/or during pregnancy, newborn not discharged with mother, neonatal abstinence symptoms (NAS), intensified perinatal surveillance or NICU, and delayed discharge from hospital. There is a substantial risk of children born to mothers with significant alcohol and/or substance abuse related problems for out-of-home care during early childhood. Factors identified during the pre- and perinatal period are associated with this risk.
    Acta Paediatrica 12/2007; 96(11):1571-6. · 1.97 Impact Factor
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    ABSTRACT: Recent experimental evidence suggests that fatty acid ethyl esters (FAEE), nonoxidative metabolites of ethanol, mediate ethanol-induced organ damage. A direct association between pancreas-specific toxicity and increased levels of FAEE following inhibition of the oxidative metabolism of ethanol by 4-methylpyrazole (4-MP) has previously been shown in studies with rats. We obtained plasma samples from 32 healthy human volunteers who drank ethanol following 4-MP or placebo ingestion to determine whether in vivo inhibition of oxidative metabolism of ethanol causes a shift to nonoxidative metabolism of ethanol and the subsequent production of increased levels of FAEE. Plasma FAEE were isolated by solid-phase extraction and quantified by gas chromatography-mass spectrometry (GC-MS). Plasma FAEE levels in subjects receiving 4-MP treatment before ethanol consumption were elevated compared with plasma FAEE concentrations taken from control subjects who received a placebo before ethanol ingestion. Increased FAEE levels in the 4-MP treatment group occurred after peak blood ethanol, and peak FAEE levels were achieved. There was a correlation between the blood ethanol and the plasma FAEE levels, and the correlation persisted in the presence or absence of 4-MP. The peak FAEE values were greater in men than in women, with or without 4-MP treatment. Our results indicate that the in vivo inhibition of the oxidative metabolism of ethanol using 4-MP results in an increased circulating concentration of FAEE, products of the nonoxidative metabolism of ethanol.
    Alcoholism Clinical and Experimental Research 08/2006; 30(7):1126-31. · 3.42 Impact Factor
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    ABSTRACT: Moderate alcohol consumption is inversely associated with cardiovascular diseases. Changes in hormone levels might in part help explain the positive health effect. This study was performed to examine the effect of moderate alcohol consumption on plasma dehydroepiandrosterone sulfate (DHEAS), testosterone, and estradiol levels. In a randomized, diet-controlled, crossover study, 10 middle-aged men and 9 postmenopausal women, all apparently healthy, nonsmoking, and moderate alcohol drinkers, consumed beer or no-alcohol beer with dinner during two successive periods of 3 weeks. During the beer period, alcohol intake equaled 40 and 30 g per day for men and women, respectively. The total diet was supplied and had essentially the same composition during these 6 weeks. Before each treatment there was a 1 week washout period, in which the subjects were not allowed to drink alcoholic beverages. At the end of each of the two experimental periods, fasting blood samples were collected in the morning. Moderate alcohol consumption increased plasma DHEAS level by 16.5% (95% confidence interval, 8.0-24.9), with similar changes for men and women. Plasma testosterone level decreased in men by 6.8% (95% confidence interval, -1.0- -12.5), but no effect was found in women. Plasma estradiol level was not affected. Serum high-density lipoprotein cholesterol level increased by 11.7% (95% confidence interval, 7.3-16.0), with similar changes for men and women. The overall alcohol-induced relative changes in DHEAS, testosterone, and estradiol correlated positively with the relative increase in high-density lipoprotein cholesterol (adjusted for the relative change in body weight); however, findings were only borderline significant for DHEAS and estradiol (r = 0.44, p = 0.08; r = 0.32, p = 0.21; and r = 0.46, p = 0.06, respectively). A protective effect of moderate alcohol consumption for cardiovascular disease risk may in part be explained by increased plasma DHEAS level.
    Alcoholism Clinical and Experimental Research 06/2004; 28(5):780-5. · 3.42 Impact Factor

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