The metabolic syndrome in patients with alcohol dependency: Current research and clinical implications

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Abstract

The relationship between alcohol dependency and disorders such as liver disease and cancer has been thoroughly researched. However, the effects of alcohol on cardiometabolic health remain controversial. Several reports found low to moderate alcohol consumption to be associated with a lower risk for cardiometabolic disorders. In contrast, excessive alcohol consumption has been related to an increased risk. Most of these studies were performed in non-clinical populations, therefore limiting the explanatory power to non-dependent patients. Only a few studies examined cardiovascular disorders and cardiovascular risk factors, in particular the metabolic syndrome (MetS), in alcohol dependent patients. We here present a narrative review of studies performed so far on the MetS in alcohol dependency, and provide current hypotheses on the association of alcohol dependency, appetite regulation and the development of the MetS.

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