New study finds that men who experience the ‘Asian flush’ when drinking alcohol are twice as likely to have a stroke
By: Keoni Everington, Taiwan News
Stroke is the third leading cause of death in Taiwan, and the factors that can lead to
stroke are numerous, including age, hypertension, diabetes, high blood lipids, heart disease, atrial fibrillation, smoking and so on. But a new study found that men who experience the so-called “Asian flush” are nearly twice as likely to have a stroke as the general population. The results of the study were published in the International Journal of medicine article titled “Stroke” in September.
The enzyme aldehyde dehydrogenase (ALDH2) plays a crucial role in human metabolism of alcohol, but people who easily become flushed even after only having one drink, may have the genetic mutation of this enzyme responsible for what is often referred to as the Asian flush or “Asian glow” response. Two alleles of ALDH2 — ALDH2*1 and ALDH2*2 — are genetic mutations that most often appear in populations of East Asian countries such as China, where about 35% of the population has the mutation, while 30% of Japanese and 20% of Koreans have the variant. Taiwan has the dubious distinction of having the highest Asian flush rate in the world at 47%. [FULL STORY]