Cardiovascular disease has been linked to excessive drinking specifically in lower socioeconomic sectors across the board, a new study published in the PLOS Medicine said.
Through an investigative process via a survey prescribed to 207,394 volunteers both the socioeconomic and health data from the years, 1960 to 1990 were analyzed by researchers from the Norwegian Institute of Public Health in Oslo. The socioeconomic status of participants was broken into three groups and determined by 20 separate indicators including household income and education.
The team of investigators concluded that cardiovascular diseases were more prominent in lower economic situations.
"Although a number of previous studies have found a 'protective effect' of moderate alcohol consumption, according to results from our study, this seems to be mostly the case among people with more advantaged socioeconomic position," said senior researcher and author Dr. Øyvind Næss.
Broken into three categories, alcohol consumption could be described as infrequent drinking- anywhere from once a month to once a week, moderate frequent consumption- two to three times per week, and very frequent being four to seven times per week.
Those that fell into the category of very frequent drinkers saw an increase in the risk of cardiovascular death, however only in those of lower socioeconomic state with around 42 percent more deaths than infrequent drinkers.
However, researchers stated other factors ought to be incorporated into further studies. The time certain socioeconomic groups have for exercise, balanced diets, higher-quality liquor, all of these may play a role in the ultimate increase in cardiovascular disease and heightened mortality rates.
Still, these results provide a sobering outlook for Latin American and Caribbean households alike where poverty rates run high especially after the recent round of hurricanes which struck the region in September.
The most recent report from the World Health Organization (2014) in the region showed alcohol consumption in the ages of 15 and up increase over the last decade in Saint Vincent and the Grenadines, Jamaica, Grenada, the Dominican Republic, Cuba, Barbados, Antigua and Barbuda, Belize among others.
"The risk of hospitalization for alcohol-related events, such as violence or accidents, seem to be higher among those with lower socioeconomic position," coauthor and researcher Eirik Degerud said.
In one report issued by the BMC Public Health System in 2016, nearly two-thirds Trinidad and Tobago reported heavy episodic alcohol consumption.