CYPRUS has the lowest rate of alcohol consumption among 56 countries, at 0.64 units per week, according to a British Health Journal study.
The genetic variant that lowers people’s alcohol consumption was highest among Cypriots at 37 per cent compared to other participants that ranged from 4 to 20 per cent. Over 260,000 people were involved including 12 groups from the UK, 11 in the US, one in Australia, six in Russia and Eastern Europe and 24 in different European countries including Cyprus.
Results showed that a reduction in alcohol consumption could be linked to improved cardiovascular health such as lower blood pressure, body mass index and a reduced risk of coronary heart disease.
This challenges previous results that said consuming light-to-moderate amounts of alcohol (12-25 units per week) may have a protective effect on cardiovascular health.
Carriers of the particular gene drank on average 17.2 per cent fewer units of alcohol per week compared to non carriers, and had 0.9 times less risk of coronary artery disease.
However carriers metabolise alcohol at a slower rate leaving them more susceptible to symptoms such as dizziness and puking after drinking which is linked to less alcohol consumption in the long term.
The research was led by the London School of Hygiene & Tropical Medicine with University College London and University of Pennsylvania.
There were 1,106 Cypriot participants aged 40 years old or more from two areas in Cyprus.