This chapter discusses the link between alcohol consumption and vascular diseases. These include hypertension, cerebrovascular disease (including ischaemic and haemorrhagic stroke), peripheral arterial disease (PAD), abdominal aortic aneurysm (AAA), and venous thromboembolism (VTE). There are complex relationships between moderate and heavy alcohol consumption and vascular disease, reflecting their heterogeneity and the multiple mechanisms by which alcohol consumption can influence vascular disease. Heavy alcohol consumption increases risk of hypertension, all forms of stroke, and probably AAA. For moderate alcohol consumption, relationships differ. It has a less pronounced effect on blood pressure and appears to be associated with a lower risk of ischaemic stroke, at least among light drinkers, and possibly a lower risk of PAD and VTE.
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