15 December 2016 In General Health

BACKGROUND: frailty is an indicator of late-life decline marked by higher rates of disability and healthcare utilisation. Research has linked health benefits with moderate alcohol use, including frailty risk reduction. Past work suggests inflammation, measured by C-reactive protein (CRP), as one candidate mechanism for this effect.

OBJECTIVE: this study aims to elucidate a possible mechanism - CRP modulation - by which moderate alcohol consumption may protect against frailty.

METHODS: a cross-sectional study using data from the 2008 wave of the Health and Retirement Study (HRS) conducted by the University of Michigan. The HRS is a cohort study on health, retirement and aging on adults aged 50 and older living in the USA. A final sample of 3,229 stroke-free participants, over the age of 65 years and with complete data, was identified from the 2008 wave. Alcohol use was measured via self-report. Frailty was measured using the Paulson-Lichtenberg Frailty Index. CRP was collected through the HRS protocol.

RESULTS: results from structural equation modelling support the hypothesised model that moderate alcohol use is associated with less frailty and lower CRP levels. Furthermore, the indirect relationship from moderate alcohol use to frailty through CRP was statistically significant.

CONCLUSIONS: overall findings suggest that inflammation measured by CRP is one mechanism by which moderate alcohol use may confer protective effects for frailty. These findings inform future research relating alcohol use and frailty, and suggest inflammation as a possible mechanism in the relationship between moderate alcohol use and other beneficial health outcomes.

15 December 2016 In Drinking & Eating Patterns
OBJECTIVES: To evaluate short-term effects of publishing revised lower risk national drinking guidelines on related awareness and knowledge. To examine where drinkers heard about guidelines over the same period. DESIGN: Trend analysis of the Alcohol Toolkit Study, a monthly repeat cross-sectional national survey. SETTING: England, November 2015 to May 2016. PARTICIPANTS: A total of 11 845 adults (18+) living in private households in England. INTERVENTION: Publication of revised national drinking guidelines in January 2016 which reduced the male guideline by approximately one-third to 14 units per week. MEASUREMENTS: Whether drinkers (1) had heard of drinking guidelines (awareness), (2) stated the guideline was above, exactly or below 14 units (knowledge) and (3) reported seeing the stated guideline number of units in the last month in each of 11 locations (exposure). Sociodemographics: sex, age (18-34, 35-64, 65+), social grade (AB, C1C2, DE). Alcohol consumption derived from graduated frequency questions: low risk (
15 December 2016 In Cancer
BACKGROUND: Research on a possible causal association between alcohol consumption and risk of prostate cancer is inconclusive. Recent studies on associations between alcohol consumption and other health outcomes suggest these are influenced by drinker misclassification errors and other study quality characteristics. The influence of these factors on estimates of the relationship between alcohol consumption and prostate cancer has not been previously investigated. METHODS: PubMed and Web of Science searches were made for case-control and cohort studies of alcohol consumption and prostate cancer morbidity and mortality (ICD-10: C61) up to December 2014. Studies were coded for drinker misclassification errors, quality of alcohol measures, extent of control for confounding and other study characteristics. Mixed models were used to estimate relative risk (RR) of morbidity or mortality from prostate cancer due to alcohol consumption with study level controls for selection bias and confounding. RESULTS: A total of 340 studies were identified of which 27 satisfied inclusion criteria providing 126 estimates for different alcohol exposures. Adjusted RR estimates indicated a significantly increased risk of prostate cancer among low (RR = 1.08, P 1.3,
21 September 2016 In Social and Cultural Aspects

AIMS: To conduct a systematic review of studies exploring the relationship between exposure to Internet-based alcohol-related content and alcohol use among young people.

METHODS: Searches of electronic databases and reference lists of relevant articles were conducted to retrieve studies of relevance up until December 2015. Full texts of the studies that met the inclusion criteria were read, appraised for quality using the Kmet forms and guidelines, and included in this review.

RESULTS: Fifteen relevant studies were identified. The included studies were a mix of cross-sectional, longitudinal, experimental and qualitative studies conducted in the USA, the UK, Australia and New Zealand. The age range of the participants involved in these studies was 12-25 years. Included studies employed a variety of study designs and a range of different exposure variables and outcome measures. Studies demonstrated significant associations between exposure to Internet-based alcohol-related content and intentions to drink and positive attitudes towards alcohol drinking among young people.

CONCLUSION: Exposure to alcohol-related content on the Internet might predispose young people to patterns of alcohol use by promoting alcohol as a natural and vital part of life. However, the research exploring the influence of this novel form of advertising on young people's alcohol use is emergent, and comprised primarily of cross-sectional studies. To evaluate the direction of the association between exposure to online alcohol-related content and alcohol use, we call for further research based on longitudinal designs.

SHORT SUMMARY: From 15 relevant studies identified, this review reports significant associations between exposure to Internet-based alcohol-related content and intentions to drink and positive attitudes towards alcohol drinking among young people, with different influences found at different stages of alcohol use.

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