The following question refers to Section 4.3 of the 2021 ESC CV Prevention Guidelines. The question is asked by CardioNerds Academy Intern Dr. Maryam Barkhordarian, answered first by pharmacy resident Dr. Anushka Tandon and then by expert faculty Dr. Kim Williams.
Dr. Williams is Chief of the Division of Cardiology and is Professor of Medicine and Cardiology at Rush University Medical Center. He has served as President of ASNC, Chairman of the Board of the Association of Black Cardiologists (ABC, 2008-2010), and President of the American College of Cardiology (ACC, 2015-2016).
The CardioNerds Decipher The Guidelines Series for the 2021 ESC CV Prevention Guidelines represents a collaboration with the ACC Prevention of CVD Section, the National Lipid Association, and Preventive Cardiovascular Nurses Association.
Your patient mentions that she drinks “several” cups of coffee during the day. She also describes having a soda daily with lunch and occasionally a glass of wine with dinner. Which of the following recommendations is appropriate?
A. Coffee consumption is not harmful and may even be beneficial, regardless of the number of drinks per day.
B. Drinking two glasses of wine/day is safe from a cardiovascular prevention standpoint.
C. Soft drinks (and other sugar-sweetened beverages) must be discouraged.
D. None of the above
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The correct answer is C. Soft drinks (and other sugar-sweetened beverages) must be discouraged.
Sugar-sweetened beverages have been associated with a higher risk of CAD and all-cause mortality. The ESC guidelines give a class I recommendation for restriction of free sugar consumption (in particular sugar-sweetened beverages) to a maximum of 10% of energy intake. This is a class IIa recommendation in the ACC/AHA guidelines.
Choice A is incorrect because: the consumption of nine or more drinks a day of non-filtered coffee (such as boiled, Greek, and Turkish coffee and some espresso coffees) may be associated with an up to 25% increased risk of ASCVD mortality. Moderate coffee consumption (3-4 cups per day) is probably not harmful, and perhaps even moderately beneficial.
Choice B is incorrect: It is a class I recommendation to restrict alcohol consumption to a maximum of 100 g per week. The standard drink in the US contains 14 g of alcohol, so 100 mg of alcohol translate to:
o 84 ounces of beer (5% alcohol)
o Or 56 – 63 ounces of malt liquor (75% alcohol) or
o Or 35 ounces of wine (12% alcohol) or ONE 5 fl oz glass of wine/day.
o Or 31.5 ounces of distilled spirits (40% alcohol).
The ACC/AHA guidelines recommended limiting alcohol consumption only for the management of hypertension to: ≤2 drinks daily for men and: ≤1 drink daily for women.
The main takeaway: ASCVD risk reduction can be achieved by restricting sugar-sweetened beverages to a maximum of 10% of energy intake.
Section 4.3.2, Page 3271