21 September 2016 In General Health

BACKGROUND: The association between alcohol consumption and metabolic syndrome (MetS) among Hispanic/Latino populations has not been studied in great detail. Our study examined the relationship between alcohol consumption and MetS among U.S. Hispanics/Latinos and explored whether this relationship varied by age, body mass index, gender, and Hispanic/Latino backgrounds.

METHODS: The Hispanic Community Health Study/Study of Latinos (HCHS/SOL) is a multisite, prospective, population-based, cohort study of Hispanics/Latinos, ages 18-74 years from four U.S. communities. Participants were categorized into never, former, occasional, low, moderate, and high alcohol consumption categories. A cross-sectional analysis of 15,905 participants with complete data was conducted. Survey design appropriate chi-squared and logistic regression models were run to detect significant associations between alcohol consumption categories and cases of MetS.

RESULTS: Almost half (47.4%) of the sample was classified as occasional, low, moderate, or heavy drinkers. Low and moderate alcohol consumers had lower odds of MetS than never drinkers. Low and heavy drinkers had higher odds of presenting with elevated central obesity, while occasional, low, moderate, and heavy drinkers had higher odds of having low high-density lipoprotein cholesterol levels compared to never drinkers. Low and moderate wine drinkers had lower odds of MetS compared to never drinkers. There were no significant findings among beer or liquor drinkers, or with binge drinking after model adjustments.

CONCLUSIONS: Our findings suggest that low and moderate alcohol consumption may lower the odds of MetS in a sample of Hispanic/Latino adults, but that the relationship of alcohol consumption varies with the individual components of MetS.

02 August 2016 In Social and Cultural Aspects

Adolescence is a time that can set the course of alcohol abuse later in life. Sensitivity to reward on multiple levels is a major factor in this development. We examined 736 adolescents from the IMAGEN longitudinal study for alcohol drinking during early (mean age=14.37) and again later (mean age=16.45) adolescence. Conducting structural equation modeling we evaluated the contribution of reward-related personality traits, behavior, brain responses and candidate genes. Personality seems to be most important in explaining alcohol drinking in early adolescence. However, genetic variations in ANKK1 (rs1800497) and HOMER1 (rs7713917) play an equal role in predicting alcohol drinking two years later and are most important in predicting the increase in alcohol consumption. We hypothesize that the initiation of alcohol use may be driven more strongly by personality while the transition to increased alcohol use is more genetically influenced.

02 August 2016 In Social and Cultural Aspects

BACKGROUND: Changing trends demonstrate that women, in a number of economically-developed countries, are drinking at higher levels than ever before. Exploring key targets for intervention, this study examined the extent to which underlying beliefs in relation to alcohol consumption predicted intentions to drink in three different ways (i.e. low risk drinking, frequent drinking and binge drinking).

METHODS: Utilizing a prospective design survey, women (N = 1069), aged 18-87 years, completed a questionnaire measuring their beliefs and intentions regarding alcohol consumption. Then, two weeks later, 845 of the original sample, completed a follow-up questionnaire reporting their engagement in the drinking behaviors. A mixed design ANOVA was conducted to examine potential differences between women of different age groups (18-24, 25-34, 35-44, 45-54, 55 years and above) and their intentions to engage in the three different drinking behaviors. Based upon The Theory of Planned Behavior, critical beliefs analyses were carried out to identify key determinants underlying intentions to engage in the three different drinking behaviors.

RESULTS: Significant effects of age were found in relation to frequent and binge drinking. The critical beliefs analyses revealed that a number of behavioral, control and normative beliefs were significant predictors of intentions. These beliefs varied according to age group and drinking behavior.

CONCLUSIONS: Previously unidentified key factors that influence women's decisions to drink in certain ways have been established. Overall, future interventions and public policy may be better tailored so as to address specific age groups and drinking behaviors.

02 August 2016 In Liver Disease
BACKGROUND: Fatty liver (hepatic steatosis) is one of the most common diseases globally, with increasing prevalence. The role of alcohol consumption in the development of hepatic steatosis has not been systematically examined. METHODS: We searched Medline, Embase, and ProQuest Dissertations & Theses Global for original data on the relationship between alcohol consumption and hepatic steatosis measured by non-invasive imagery, excluding studies conducted in participants
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