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.

 

 

BACKGROUND: Physical functioning (PF) is an essential domain of older persons' health and quality of life. Health behaviors are the main modifiable determinants of PF. Cross-sectionally, alcohol consumption appears to be linked to better PF, but longitudinal evidence is mixed and very little is known about alcohol consumption and longitudinal PF trajectories. METHODS: We conducted longitudinal analyses of 28,783 men and women aged 45-69 years from Novosibirsk (Russia), Krakow (Poland), and seven towns of the Czech Republic. At baseline, alcohol consumption was measured by a graduated frequency questionnaire and problem drinking was evaluated using the CAGE questionnaire. PF was assessed using the Physical Functioning Subscale of the SF-36 instrument at baseline and three subsequent occasions. Growth curve modeling was used…
BACKGROUND: Alcohol consumption contributes to many negative health consequences and is a risk factor for death. Some previous studies however suggest a J-shaped relationship between the level of alcohol consumption and all-cause mortality. These findings have in part been suggested to be due to confounders. The aim of our study was to analyze the relationship between self-reported alcohol intake and all-cause mortality in women, adjusted for sociodemographic, lifestyle factors and diseases such as diabetes and previous ischemic heart disease. METHODS: All women aged 50-59 years (born between 1935 and 1945) that lived in any of the five municipalities in southern Sweden were invited to participate in a health survey. From December 1995 to February 2000 a total of 6916 women…
BACKGROUND: Alcohol consumption in very old age is increasing; yet, little is known about the personal and health-related characteristics associated with different levels of alcohol consumption and the association between alcohol consumption and survival among the oldest old. METHODS: Nationally representative data from the Swedish Panel Study of Living Conditions of the Oldest Old (SWEOLD, ages 76-101; n=863) collected in 2010/2011 were used. Mortality was analyzed until 2014. Alcohol consumption was measured with questions about frequency and amount. Drinks per month were calculated and categorized as abstainer, light-to-moderate drinker (0.5-30 drinks/month) and heavy drinker (>30 drinks/month). Multinomial logistic regressions and Laplace regressions were performed. RESULTS: Compared to light-to-moderate drinkers, abstainers had lower levels of education and more functional health problems,…
BACKGROUND: A large body of research suggests that light or moderate alcohol consumption is associated with reduced all-cause mortality. However, concerns remain that the observed relationship is due to selection bias, misclassification of ex-drinkers, or residual confounding. METHODS: The association between alcohol consumption and all-cause mortality was analyzed using Cox regression. The analysis was performed using data from the Health and Retirement Study, a longitudinal cohort of 24,029 individuals from a nationally representative sample of US adults aged more than 50 years. Drinking level was based on alcohol consumption measured at 3 points over the 4 years before the start of follow-up. Occasional drinkers-those who reported drinking on at least 1 occasion, but always less than once per week-served as…
Recreational alcohol intake is a widespread activity globally and alcohol energy (7 kcal/g) can be a contributing factor to weight gain if not compensated for. Given that both excessive alcohol intake and obesity are of public health interest, the present paper provides an update on the association between alcohol consumption and body weight. In general, recent prospective studies show that light-to-moderate alcohol intake is not associated with adiposity gain while heavy drinking is more consistently related to weight gain. Experimental evidence is also mixed and suggests that moderate intake of alcohol does not lead to weight gain over short follow-up periods. However, many factors can explain the conflicting findings and a better characterization of individuals more likely to gain weight…

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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.