Ransome Y, Slopen N, Karlsson O, Williams DR
J Behav Med 41 (3) 374-384 [2018-06-00; online 2017-12-11]
Some studies document racial disparities in self-reported health associated with alcohol use and abuse. However, few studies examined biomarkers that underlie the onset of alcohol-related chronic diseases. We investigated whether the association between alcohol abuse and five biomarkers of inflammation (CRP, IL-6, fibrinogen, E-selectin, sICAM-1) vary between Black and White Americans aged 35 to 84 (n = 1173) from the Midlife in the United States Biomarker Study. Multivariable Ordinary Least Squares regressions were used to assess Black-White differences in the association between alcohol abuse and the biomarkers. Race moderated the association between alcohol abuse and CRP (b = 0.56, SE = 0.28, p = 0.048), IL-6 (b = 0.65, SE = 0.22, p = 0.004), and a composite inflammation score (b = 0.014, SE = 0.07, p = 0.041). These findings potentially shed light for why alcohol has a stronger negative association with poorer health for Blacks compared to Whites. Analysis should be replicated in larger prospective cohorts.