General Health

Moderate wine drinkers have a lower risk to die from any cause (lower total  mortality risk) than those who abstain or drink heavily. This widely accepted association is known as the J-curve. This J-curve is attributable to the beneficial effect on cardiovascular health which compensates the negative effects of some cancers resulting in a lower risk to die from any possible cause. The relative risk of dying is lowest among light to moderate drinkers and increased among abstainers. However, the risk increases dramatically with each drink above moderation. Thus, while one or two glasses can be considered “good for your health”, drinking more than what guidelines suggest will not provide more benefits, only more harm.

 

If consumed in excess, alcoholic beverages increase the exposure to a wide range of risk factors whereby the risk rises with the amount of alcohol consumed. Thus, it is crucial to prevent abusive consumption. Alcohol abuse is associated with a range of long-term chronic diseases that reduce the quality of life. These include hypertension, cardiovascular problems, cirrhosis of the liver, alcohol dependence, various forms of cancer, alcohol-related brain damage and a range of other problems. Not only the amount of alcohol but also the drinking patterns are important. Findings from a meta analysis support results from other studies that binge drinking is detrimental to heart health. The authors concluded that it is best for drinkers to avoid binge drinking -- not only because of the possible heart effects, but also because of more immediate risks, like accidents and violence.

 

In addition to health issues resulting from excessive alcohol consumption, there are social consequences, both for the drinker and for others in the community. The consequences include harm to family members (including children), to friends and colleagues as well as to bystanders and strangers.

 

The above summary provides an overview of the topic, for more details and specific questions, please refer to the articles in the database.

 

 

OBJECTIVES: To review critical contributions from the Nurses' Health Study (NHS) on alcohol consumption and health outcomes. METHODS: We performed a narrative review of NHS (1980-2012) and NHS II (1989-2011) publications. RESULTS: Using detailed information on self-reported alcohol drinking patterns obtained approximately every 4 years combined with extensive information on diet, lifestyle habits, and physician-diagnosed health conditions, NHS investigators have prospectively examined the risks and benefits associated with alcohol consumption. Moderate intake, defined as up to 1 drink a day, is associated with a lower risk of hypertension, myocardial infarction, stroke, sudden cardiac death, gallstones, cognitive decline, and all-cause mortality. However, even moderate intake places women at higher risk for breast cancer and bone fractures, and higher intake increases risk…
BACKGROUND: The association between alcohol consumption and metabolic syndrome (MetS) among Hispanic/Latino populations has not been studied in great detail. Our study examined the relationship between alcohol consumption and MetS among U.S. Hispanics/Latinos and explored whether this relationship varied by age, body mass index, gender, and Hispanic/Latino backgrounds. METHODS: The Hispanic Community Health Study/Study of Latinos (HCHS/SOL) is a multisite, prospective, population-based, cohort study of Hispanics/Latinos, ages 18-74 years from four U.S. communities. Participants were categorized into never, former, occasional, low, moderate, and high alcohol consumption categories. A cross-sectional analysis of 15,905 participants with complete data was conducted. Survey design appropriate chi-squared and logistic regression models were run to detect significant associations between alcohol consumption categories and cases of MetS.…
OBJECTIVE: To examine whether physical activity (PA) moderates the association between alcohol intake and all-cause mortality, cancer mortality and cardiovascular diseases (CVDs) mortality. DESIGN: Prospective study using 8 British population-based surveys, each linked to cause-specific mortality: Health Survey for England (1994, 1998, 1999, 2003, 2004 and 2006) and Scottish Health Survey (1998 and 2003). PARTICIPANTS: 36 370 men and women aged 40 years and over were included with a corresponding 5735 deaths and a mean of 353 049 person-years of follow-up. EXPOSURES: 6 sex-specific categories of alcohol intake (UK units/week) were defined: (1) never drunk; (2) ex-drinkers; (3) occasional drinkers; (4) within guidelines (35 (women) >49 (men)). PA was categorised as inactive (7.5 MET-hour/week) and upper (>15 MET-hour/week) of recommended…
BACKGROUND AND AIMS: While alcohol consumption is known to increase plasma high-density lipoprotein (HDL) cholesterol levels, its relationship with low-density lipoprotein (LDL) cholesterol levels is unclear. Aldehyde dehydrogenase 2 (ALDH2) is a rate-controlling enzyme in alcohol metabolism, but a large number of Japanese people have the inactive allele. Here, we conducted a Mendelian randomization analysis using the ALDH2 genotype to clarify a causal role of alcohol on circulating cholesterol levels and lipoprotein particle numbers. METHODS: This study was conducted in three independent general Japanese populations (men, n = 2289; women, n = 1940; mean age 63.3 +/- 11.2 years). Alcohol consumption was assessed using a questionnaire. Lipoprotein particle numbers were determined by nuclear magnetic resonance spectroscopy. RESULTS: Alcohol consumption increased…
BACKGROUND: Moderate alcohol consumption has been reported to be associated with a decreased risk of cardiometabolic diseases. Whether drinking pattern is associated with the risk of proteinuria is unknown. METHODS: Study subjects were 9154 non-diabetic Japanese men aged 40-55 years, with an estimated glomerular filtration rate >/=60 mL/min/1.73 m(2), no proteinuria, and no use of antihypertensive medications at entry. Data on alcohol consumption were obtained by questionnaire. We defined "consecutive proteinuria" as proteinuria detected twice consecutively as 1+ or higher on urine dipstick at annual examinations. RESULTS: During the 81 147 person-years follow-up period, 385 subjects developed consecutive proteinuria. For subjects who reported drinking 4-7 days per week, alcohol consumption of 0.1-23.0 g ethanol/drinking day was significantly associated with a…

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The authors have taken reasonable care in ensuring the accuracy of the information herein at the time of publication and are not responsible for any errors or omissions. Read more on our disclaimer.