AIM: To examine whether exposure to increased alcohol availability in utero is associated with later alcohol-related health problems.

METHOD: Register-linked population-based longitudinal study using data from a natural experiment setting, including 363 286 children born 1965-71. An experimental alcohol policy change was piloted in two regions of Sweden in 1967-68, where access to strong beer increased for 16-20 year old. Children exposed in utero to the policy change were compared to children born elsewhere in Sweden (excluding a border area), and to children born before and after the policy change. The outcome was obtained from the National Hospital Discharge Register using the Swedish index of alcohol-related inpatient care. Hazard ratios (HR) with 95% confidence intervals (CI) were estimated by Cox regression analysis.

RESULTS: The results suggest that children conceived by young mothers prior to the policy change but exposed to it in utero had a slightly increased risk of alcohol-related health problems later in life (HR 1.26, 95% CI 0.94-1.68). A tendency towards an inverse association was found among children conceived by older mothers (HR 0.88, 95% CI 0.74-1.06).

CONCLUSION: Results obtained from a natural experiment setting found no consistent evidence of long-term health consequences among children exposed in utero to an alcohol policy change. Some evidence however suggested an increased risk of alcohol-related health problems among the exposed children of young mothers.

Published in General Health

BACKGROUND AND AIMS: Only a few population-based prospective studies have examined the association between alcohol consumption and abdominal aortic aneurysm, and the results are inconsistent. Moreover, no evidence exists for aortic dissection. We examined the effect of alcohol consumption on risk of mortality from aortic diseases.

METHODS: A total of 34,720 men from the Japan Collaborative Cohort study, aged 40-79 years, without history of cardiovascular disease and cancer at baseline 1988 and 1990 were followed up until the end of 2009 for their mortality and its underlying cause. Hazard ratios of mortality from aortic diseases were estimated according to alcohol consumption categories of never-drinkers, ex-drinkers, regular drinkers of 30 g ethanol per day.

RESULTS: During the median 17.9-year follow-up period, 45 men died of aortic dissection and 41 men died of abdominal aortic aneurysm. Light to moderate drinkers of 30 g ethanol per day did not have reduced risk of mortality from total aortic disease, albeit had risk variation between aortic dissection and abdominal aortic aneurysm.

CONCLUSIONS: Light to moderate alcohol consumption was associated with reduced mortality from aortic disease among Japanese men.

Published in General Health

There have been conflicting reports on the association of alcohol use and diverticular disease. We aimed to determine the odds of developing diverticular disease and diverticular bleeding in patients who consumed alcohol on a regular basis compared with those who did not. MEDLINE and PUBMED were searched up until February 2017 on observational trials, which investigated the effect of alcohol use on two outcomes of diverticular disease: diverticulosis and diverticular bleeding. Quantitative estimates (odds ratios [OR] and confidence intervals [CI]) from included studies were pooled by using a random-effects model. Heterogeneity across studies was assessed by the I2 statistic. In 6 studies including 53,644 subjects and 6 studies including 3,404 subjects, alcohol consumption on a regular basis was not associated with either diverticulosis (OR=1.99; 95% CI 0.99-4.03, I2=99%) or diverticular bleeding (OR=1.39; 95% CI 0.84-2.32, I2=45%) compared to subjects who did not consume alcohol on a regular basis, respectively. Increased odds of diverticulosis or diverticular bleeding among individuals who consume alcohol on a regular basis were not observed in these meta-analyses.

Published in General Health

An association between heavy alcohol drinking and gastric cancer risk has been recently reported, but the issue is still open to discussion and quantification. We investigated the role of alcohol drinking on gastric cancer risk in the "Stomach cancer Pooling (StoP) Project," a consortium of epidemiological studies. A total of 9,669 cases and 25,336 controls from 20 studies from Europe, Asia and North America were included. We estimated summary odds-ratios (ORs) and the corresponding 95% confidence intervals (CIs) by pooling study-specific ORs using random-effects meta-regression models. Compared with abstainers, drinkers of up to 4 drinks/day of alcohol had no increase in gastric cancer risk, while the ORs were 1.26 (95% CI, 1.08-1.48) for heavy (>4 to 6 drinks/day) and 1.48 (95% CI 1.29-1.70) for very heavy (>6 drinks/day) drinkers. The risk for drinkers of >4 drinks/day was higher in never smokers (OR 1.87, 95% CI 1.35-2.58) as compared with current smokers (OR 1.14, 95% CI 0.93-1.40). Somewhat stronger associations emerged with heavy drinking in cardia (OR 1.61, 95% CI 1.11-2.34) than in non-cardia (OR 1.28, 95% CI 1.13-1.45) gastric cancers, and in intestinal-type (OR 1.54, 95% CI 1.20-1.97) than in diffuse-type (OR 1.29, 95% CI 1.05-1.58) cancers. The association was similar in strata of H. pylori infected (OR = 1.52, 95% CI 1.16-2.00) and noninfected subjects (OR = 1.69, 95% CI 0.95-3.01). Our collaborative pooled-analysis provides definite, more precise quantitative evidence than previously available of an association between heavy alcohol drinking and gastric cancer risk.

Published in Cancer
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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.