BACKGROUND: Emerging evidence suggests that arterial stiffness, an important marker of cardiovascular health, is associated with alcohol consumption. However, the role of longer-term consumption patterns in the progression of arterial stiffness over time remains unclear. A longitudinal cohort design was used to evaluate the association between alcohol consumption over 25 years and subsequent changes in arterial stiffness.

METHODS AND RESULTS: Data (N=3869; 73% male) were drawn from the Whitehall II cohort study of British civil servants, in which participants completed repeat pulse wave velocity assessments of arterial stiffness across a 4- to 5-year interval. Repeated alcohol intake measurements were used to categorize participants into alcohol consumer types, accounting for longitudinal variability in consumption. Sex-stratified linear mixed-effects modeling was used to investigate whether drinker types differed in their relationship to pulse wave velocity and its progression over time. Males with consistent long-term heavy intake >112 g of ethanol/week had significantly higher baseline pulse wave velocity (b=0.26 m/s; P=0.045) than those who drank consistently moderately (1-112 g of ethanol/week). Male former drinkers showed significantly greater increases in arterial stiffness longitudinally compared to consistently moderate drinkers (b=0.11 m/s; P=0.009). All associations were nonsignificant for females after adjustment for body mass index, heart rate, mean arterial pressure, diabetes mellitus, high-density lipoprotein, and triglycerides.

CONCLUSIONS: This work demonstrates that consistently heavy alcohol consumption is associated with higher cardiovascular risk, especially among males, and also provides new insights into the potential impact of changes in drinking levels over time. It discusses the additional insights possible when capturing longitudinal consumption patterns in lieu of reliance on recent intake alone.

CLINICAL TRIAL REGISTRATION: URL: http://www.clinicaltrials.gov. Unique identifier: NCT02663791

Published in Cardiovascular System

BACKGROUND: Alcohol consumption and some other dietary habits are thought to be associated with lung cancer incidence. However, the effects of these habits on lung cancer prognosis have been studied rarely. The purpose of this study was to address these gaps in knowledge.

METHODS: We studied a cohort of 1052 Chinese men in Hong Kong who were diagnosed with primary lung cancer. Cox proportional hazards models were used to determine the prognostic values of consumption of alcohol, fresh fruits or vegetables, meat, and fried or preserved food.

RESULTS: Compared with never drinkers, men who drank alcohol 1-3 days per week had a more favorable lung cancer prognosis (hazard ratio [HR]: 0.82, 95% confidence interval [CI] 0.68-0.97); however, this survival advantage was not significant in men who drank alcohol more frequently (HR: 0.91, 95% CI 0.73-1.14). Compared with men who consumed preserved or fried food only occasionally, men who consumed these foods frequently had a higher risk of lung cancer mortality (HR: 1.20, 95% CI 1.00-1.42).

CONCLUSIONS: Occasional consumption of alcohol was a favorable survival factor for Chinese men with lung cancer. However, this survival benefit did not exist for frequent drinkers of alcohol. Chinese men with lung cancer who were frequent consumers of fried or preserved food had a worse prognosis than those who consumed these foods only occasionally.

Published in Cancer

BACKGROUND: Alcohol consumption is associated with a higher risk of colorectal cancer, but to the authors' knowledge its influence on survival after a diagnosis of colorectal cancer is unclear. The authors investigated associations between prediagnosis and postdiagnosis alcohol intake with mortality among survivors of colorectal cancer.

METHODS: The authors identified 2458 men and women who were diagnosed with invasive, nonmetastatic colorectal cancer between 1992 (enrollment into the Cancer Prevention Study II Nutrition Cohort) and 2011. Alcohol consumption was self-reported at baseline and updated in 1997, 1999, 2003, and 2007. Postdiagnosis alcohol data were available for 1599 participants.

RESULTS: Of the 2458 participants diagnosed with colorectal cancer, 1156 died during follow-up through 2012. Prediagnosis and postdiagnosis alcohol consumption were not found to be associated with all-cause mortality, except for an association between prediagnosis consumption of /=2 drinks/day).

CONCLUSIONS: The results of the current study do not support an association between alcohol consumption and all-cause mortality among individuals with nonmetastatic colorectal cancer. The association between postdiagnosis drinking and colorectal cancer-specific mortality should be examined in larger studies of individuals diagnosed with nonmetastatic colorectal cancer.

Cancer 2017. (c) 2017 American Cancer Society.

Published in Cancer

AIMS: Alcohol intoxication is a source of significant illness and injury commonly resulting in emergency department (ED) visits. We characterize recent trends in alcohol-related visits to US EDs using nationally representative data.

METHODS: We conducted a retrospective review of data on national ED visits among patients aged 18 years or older with alcohol intoxication between 2001 and 2011 using the National Hospital Ambulatory Medical Care Survey (NHAMCS). Demographic and resource utilization trends in alcohol-related visits were examined. We also assessed ED length of stay (LOS) across the study period, as well as the total hours spent on ED care for alcohol-related complaints.

RESULTS: Between 2001-2002 and 2010-2011, alcohol-related visits increased from 2,459,748 to 3,856,346 (P = 0.049). Utilization of resources such as laboratory tests, medications and radiography increased, with the use of advanced imaging (i.e. computed tomography and magnetic resonance imaging) increasing 232.2% (P < 0.001) from 2001-2002 to 2010-2011. Overall LOS increased 16.1% (P = 0.028), while LOS among patients admitted to the hospital increased 24.9% (P = 0.076). Total alcohol-related hours spent in EDs nationwide increased from 5.6 million in 2001 to 11.6 million in 2011, an increase of 108.5% (P < 0.001) compared with an increase in overall ED hours of 54.0% (P < 0.001).

CONCLUSION: Alcohol-related ED visits are increasing at a greater rate than overall ED visits and represent a growing burden on hospital resources.

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