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Month: March 2017

Happy Hour: Good for the Heart?

A recent large-scale study indicates that alcohol, in moderation, is healthy for the heart. New research published in the British Medical Journal adds further evidence linking alcohol consumption with lower risks of heart attack, stroke, and cardiovascular disease. While the new study is consistent with earlier results that have shown potential heart health benefits from occasional drinking, it amplifies the message due to its large sample population.

Drinking about a glass of wine for women per day, and two glasses of wine for men, showed benefits for heart health in a large group of U.K. adults; of the near 2 million subjects, none had cardiovascular disease when the study began. People who did not drink showed increased risk for eight of the heart ailments, ranging from 12% to 56%, compared to those who drank in moderation; the eight conditions included the most common heart events—such as heart attack and stroke. Non-drinkers had a 33% higher risk of unstable angina, a condition in which the heart does not receive sufficient blood flow, and a 56% higher risk of dying unexpectedly from cardiovascular disease—compared to those people who drank a glass or two of alcohol each day.

There are several potential ways that casual drinking might benefit heart health, although none have been directly proven. Alcohol consumption has been linked to increases in ‘good’ HDL cholesterol, and properties in the blood that reduce clotting. It is also possible that moderate drinking helps reduce stress levels.

Yet alcohol does not provide protection against four less common heart problems, including certain types of mild strokes. It is not clear from the current study why alcohol lowers the risk of some heart conditions and not others, but the results should reassure people who drink a few glasses of alcohol each week. Moreover, while casual drinking shows potential benefit, drinking to excess can increase risks for a variety of heart problems.

Faculty Spotlight: Anne L. Peters, MD

Currently a professor at the Keck School of Medicine of the University of Southern California and the Director of the USC Clinical Diabetes Programs, Dr. Anne L. Peters has worked in the field of diabetes prevention through extensive involvement with multiple clinical trials, NIH grants, over 100 articles in peer-reviewed medical journals, and speaking engagements across the globe.

While concurrently directing diabetes centers in Beverly Hills and in underserved East Los Angeles, Dr. Peters works with the LA County Department of Health Services on the institution of a county-wide diabetes program. Dr. Peters has previously served as director of the clinical diabetes programs at Cedars-Sinai Medical Center and UCLA before her tenure at USC, after receiving her medical degree from the Pritzker School of Medicine at the University of Chicago, performing an internal medicine residency at Stanford University and Harbor UCLA Medical Center, and a fellowship in endocrinology at Cedars-Sinai.

Dr. Peters has served as a principal investigator on multiple clinical trials focused on diabetes prevention, and is currently involved with three NIH grants aimed at curbing and reducing heart disease and diabetes. Dr. Peters has additionally established the Community Diabetes Initiatives Research Center in collaboration with Children’s Hospital Los Angeles. She has authored three books on diabetes, in addition to articles that have appeared in JAMA, The New England Journal of Medicine, Annals of Internal Medicine, and Diabetes Care.

Dr. Peters serves on the ABIM Endocrine Board, multiple ADA committees, and the EASD/ADA Diabetes Technology Committee. She was the recipient of the ADA Outstanding Physician Clinician Award in 2008, and the 2010 Bernardo Houssay Award from the National Minority Quality Forum for her work with underserved populations. Dr. Peters has of the ADA/EASD Position Statement on “Management of Hyperglycemia in Type 2 Diabetes,” and the ADA Position Statement on “Treatment of Type 1 Diabetes Across the Lifespan.”

Join us in San Diego on May 6th for the CMHC Regional Conference, and hear Dr. Peters and colleagues address “T2DM Updates in Treatment and Cardiovascular Outcomes and Trials” while providing updates on current and emerging therapies, treatment guidelines, and strategies to improve clinical outcomes.