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.

 

 

The global strategy to reduce the harmful use of alcohol launched in 2010 by the World Health Organization includes, amongst several areas of recommended actions, providing consumer information about, and labelling, alcoholic beverages to indicate alcohol-related harm. Labelling requirements worldwide for alcoholic drinks are currently quite diverse and somewhat limited compared to labelling on food products and on tobacco. In this context, the current paper contributes to the academic and political debate on the inclusion of nutritional and health information on wine labelling, providing some insights into consumer interest in, and preferences for, such information in four core wine-producing and -consuming countries: Italy, France, Spain, and the United States of America. A rating-based conjoint analysis was performed in order to…
OBJECTIVE: To examine if and how older adults modify their drinking after health deterioration, and the factors that motivate changing or maintaining stable drinking behaviour. STUDY DESIGN: Explanatory follow-up mixed-methods research. METHODS: The association between health deterioration and changes in alcohol consumption was examined using secondary data from the English Longitudinal Study of Ageing, a biennial prospective cohort study of a random sample of adults aged 50 years and older living in England. Data were collected through a personal interview and self-completion questionnaire across three waves between 2004 and 2009. The sample size (response rate) across the three waves was 8781 (49.9%), 7168 (40.3%) and 6623 (37.3%). The Chi-squared test was used to examine associations between diagnosis with a long-term…
AIMS: Increases in glass sizes and wine strength over the last 25 years in the UK are likely to have led to an underestimation of alcohol intake in population studies. We explore whether this probable misclassification affects the association between average alcohol intake and risk of mortality from all causes, cardiovascular disease and cancer. METHODS: Self-reported alcohol consumption in 1997-1999 among 7010 men and women in the Whitehall II cohort of British civil servants was linked to the risk of mortality until mid-2015. A conversion factor of 8 g of alcohol per wine glass (1 unit) was compared with a conversion of 16 g per wine glass (2 units). RESULTS: When applying a higher alcohol content conversion for wine consumption,…
OBJECTIVES: We conducted a prospective analysis of 145,886 participants in the multiethnic cohort to examine the relationship of alcohol drinking and smoking with pancreatitis. METHODS: Pancreatitis cases were categorized as gallstone-related acute pancreatitis (GSAP) (N = 1,065), non-GSAP (N = 1,222), and recurrent acute (RAP)/chronic pancreatitis (CP) (N = 523). We used the baseline questionnaire to identify alcohol intake and smoking history. Associations were estimated by hazard ratios (HRs) and 95% confidence intervals (CIs) using Cox models. RESULTS: Cigarette smoking was associated with non-GSAP and RAP/CP. Moderate alcohol intake was inversely associated with all types of pancreatitis in women (HRs, 0.66 to 0.81 for
Selection biases may lead to systematic overestimate of protective effects from 'moderate' alcohol consumption. Overall, most sources of selection bias favor low-volume drinkers in relation to non-drinkers. Studies that attempt to address these types of bias generally find attenuated or non-significant relationships between low-volume alcohol consumption and cardiovascular disease, which is the major source of possible protective effects on mortality from low-volume consumption. Furthermore, observed mortality effects among established low-volume consumers are of limited relevance to health-related decisions about whether to initiate consumption or to continue drinking purposefully into old age. Short of randomized trials with mortality end-points, there are a number of approaches that can minimize selection bias involving low-volume alcohol consumption.

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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.