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.

 

 

Growing evidence indicates that the Mediterranean diet is beneficial to human health. Many epidemiological and research studies have reported that this diet pattern is able to limit the development and progression of coronary heart disease, one of the leading cause of morbidity and mortality in both developed and developing countries worldwide. There is now a large consensus about recommending Mediterranean diet to reduce atherosclerosis and coronary artery disease and to limit the risk of fatal complications such as sudden cardiac death and heart failure. This review underlines the role of two of the specific components of the Mediterranean diet, namely marine omega-3 fatty acids and wine, and the link between moderate wine consumption and fatty acid profiles.
OBJECTIVE: To analyse the association between alcohol intake and incidence of rheumatoid arthritis in women. DESIGN: Prospective cohort study with repeated measurements. SETTING: The Swedish Mammography Cohort, a population based cohort from central Sweden. PARTICIPANTS : 34 141 women born between 1914 and 1948, followed up from 1 January 2003 to 31 December 2009. MAIN OUTCOME MEASURES: Newly diagnosed cases of rheumatoid arthritis identified by linkage with two Swedish national registers. Data on alcohol consumption were collected in 1987 and 1997. RESULTS: During the follow-up period (226 032 person years), 197 incident cases of rheumatoid arthritis were identified. There was a statistically significant 37% decrease in risk of rheumatoid arthritis among women who drank >4 glasses of alcohol (1 glass…
OBJECTIVE: Limited data are available about risk factors for the progression of aortic stiffness in healthy population. We examined several risk factors as possible independent predictors of aortic stiffness progression among a population-based sample of US men. METHODS: A total of 240 men (40-49 years) free of CVD at baseline from the Pittsburgh site of the ERA JUMP study were evaluated. Aortic stiffness was measured as carotid-femoral pulse wave velocity at baseline and after 4.6 +/- 0.2 (mean +/- SD) years of follow-up. Progression of aortic stiffness was evaluated as relative annual change in carotid-femoral pulse wave velocity (% change/year). Using linear regression, both baseline potential risk factors and their annual changes were evaluated as possible risk factors for aortic…
Alcohol use is typically initiated during adolescence, a period known to be critical in neurodevelopment. The adolescent brain may be particularly susceptible to the harmful effects of alcohol. While the cognitive deficits associated with alcohol use during adolescence have been well-documented, the neural substrates underlying these effects remain inadequately understood. Cerebral white matter has been suggested as a primary site of alcohol-related damage and diffusion tensor imaging (DTI) allows for the quantification of white matter integrity in vivo. This review summarizes results from both cross-sectional and longitudinal studies employing DTI that indicate that white matter tracts, particularly those thought to be involved in executive functioning, continue to develop throughout adolescence and into adulthood. Numerous DTI studies reveal a positive correlation…
In this paper, we investigate the relationship between alcohol consumption and psychological well-being among young adults in the United States. We do so by exploiting the discontinuity in alcohol consumption at age 21 and using a regression discontinuity design. Using data from the National Longitudinal Survey of Youth (1997 Cohort), we document that young adults tend to increase their alcohol consumption and drink on average 1.5 days per month more once they are granted legal access to alcohol at age 21. However, we also show that in general, this discrete jump in alcohol consumption at age 21 has no statistically significant impact on several indicators of psychological well-being among young adults. This result suggests that although stricter alcohol control targeted…

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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.