25 August 2020 In Drinking Patterns

BACKGROUND: Individuals with low socioeconomic status (SES) experience disproportionately greater alcohol-attributable health harm than individuals with high SES from similar or lower amounts of alcohol consumption. Our aim was to provide an update of the current evidence for the role of alcohol use and drinking patterns in socioeconomic inequalities in mortality, as well as the effect modification or interaction effects between SES and alcohol use, as two potential explanations of this so-called alcohol-harm paradox.

METHODS: We did a systematic review, searching Embase, Medline, PsycINFO, and Web of Science (published between Jan 1, 2013, and June 30, 2019) for studies reporting alcohol consumption, SES, and mortality. Observational, quantitative studies of the general adult population (aged >/=15 years) with a longitudinal study design were included. Two outcome measures were extracted: first, the proportion of socioeconomic inequalities in mortality explained by alcohol use; and second, the effect modification or interaction between SES and alcohol use regarding mortality risks. This study is registered with PROSPERO (CRD42019140279).

FINDINGS: Of 1941 records identified, ten met the inclusion criteria. The included studies contained more than 400 000 adults, more than 30 000 deaths from all causes, and more than 3000 100% alcohol-attributable events. Alcohol use explained up to 27% of the socioeconomic inequalities in mortality. The proportion of socioeconomic inequalities explained systematically differed by drinking pattern, with heavy episodic drinking having a potentially significant explanatory value. Although scarce, there was some evidence of effect modification or interaction between SES and alcohol use.

INTERPRETATION: To reduce socioeconomic inequalities in mortality, addressing heavy episodic drinking in particular, rather than alcohol use in general, is worth exploring as a public health strategy.

FUNDING: Canadian Institutes of Health Research.

03 June 2019 In General Health

OBJECTIVE: Harmful use of alcohol represents a large socioeconomic and disease burden and displays a socioeconomic status (SES) gradient. Several alcohol control laws were devised and implemented, but their equity impact remains undetermined.We ascertained if an SES gradient in hazardous alcohol consumption exists in Geneva (Switzerland) and assessed the equity impact of the alcohol control laws implemented during the last two decades.

DESIGN: Repeated cross-sectional survey study.

SETTING: We used data from non-abstinent participants, aged 35-74 years, from the population-based cross-sectional Bus Sante study (n=16 725), between 1993 and 2014.

METHODS: SES indicators included educational attainment (primary, secondary and tertiary) and occupational level (high, medium and low). We defined four survey periods according to the implemented alcohol control laws and hazardous alcohol consumption (outcome variable) as >30 g/day for men and >20 g/day for women.The Slope Index of Inequality (SII) and Relative Index of Inequality (RII) were used to quantify absolute and relative inequalities, respectively, and were compared between legislative periods.

RESULTS: Lower educated men had a higher frequency of hazardous alcohol consumption (RII=1.87 (1.57; 2.22) and SII=0.14 (0.11; 0.17)). Lower educated women had less hazardous consumption ((RII=0.76 (0.60; 0.97)and SII=-0.04 (-0.07;-0.01]). Over time, hazardous alcohol consumption decreased, except in lower educated men.Education-related inequalities were observed in men in all legislative periods and did not vary between them. Similar results were observed using the occupational level as SES indicator. In women, significant inverse SES gradients were observed using educational attainment but not for occupational level.

CONCLUSIONS: Population-wide alcohol control laws did not have a positive equity impact on hazardous alcohol consumption. Targeted interventions to disadvantaged groups may be needed to address the hazardous alcohol consumption inequality gap.

27 July 2018 In Diabetes

AIMS: We investigate (a) alcohol consumption in association with type 2 diabetes, taking heavy episodic drinking (HED), socioeconomic, health and lifestyle, and psychosocial factors into account, and (b) whether a seemingly protective effect of moderate alcohol consumption on type 2 diabetes persists when stratified by occupational position.

METHODS: This population-based longitudinal cohort study comprises 16,223 Swedes aged 18-84 years who answered questionnaires about lifestyle, including alcohol consumption in 2002, and who were followed-up for self-reported or register-based diabetes in 2003-2011. Odds ratios (ORs) with 95% confidence intervals (CIs) were estimated in a multivariable-adjusted logistic regression model for all participants and stratified by high and low occupational position. We adjusted for HED, socioeconomic (occupational position, cohabiting status and unemployment), health and lifestyle (body mass index (BMI), blood pressure, smoking, physical inactivity, poor general health, anxiety/depression and psychosocial (low job control and poor social support) characteristics one by one, and the sets of these factors.

RESULTS: Moderate consumption was inversely associated with type 2 diabetes after controlling for health and lifestyle (OR=0.47; 95% CI: 0.29-0.79) and psychosocial factors (OR=0.40; 95% CI: 0.22-0.79) when compared to non-drinkers. When adjusting for socioeconomic factors, there was still an inverse but non-significant association (OR=0.59; 95% CI: 0.35-1.00). In those with high occupational position, there was no significant association between moderate consumption and type 2 diabetes after adjusting for socioeconomic (OR=0.67; 95% CI: 0.3-1.52), health and lifestyle (OR=0.70; 95% CI: 0.32-1.5), and psychosocial factors (OR=0.75; 95% CI: 0.23-2.46). On the contrary, in those with low occupational position, ORs decreased from 0.55 (95% CI: 0.28-1.1) to 0.35 (95% CI: 0.15-0.82) when adjusting for psychosocial factors, a decrease that was solely due to low job control. HED did not influence any of these associations.

CONCLUSIONS: Moderate alcohol consumption is associated with a lower risk of type 2 diabetes, after adjusting for HED, health and lifestyle, and psychosocial characteristics. The association was inverse but non-significant after adjusting for socioeconomic factors. When stratified by occupational position, there was an inverse association only in those with low occupational position and after adjusting for low job control.

27 July 2018 In Cancer
BACKGROUND: While current research is largely consistent as to the harms of heavy drinking in terms of both cancer incidence and mortality, there are disparate messages regarding the safety of light-moderate alcohol consumption, which may confuse public health messages. We aimed to evaluate the association between average lifetime alcohol intakes and risk of both cancer incidence and mortality. METHODS AND FINDINGS: We report a population-based cohort study using data from 99,654 adults (68.7% female), aged 55-74 years, participating in the U.S. Prostate, Lung, Colorectal, and Ovarian (PLCO) Cancer Screening Trial. Cox proportional hazards models assessed the risk of overall and cause-specific mortality, cancer incidence (excluding nonmelanoma skin cancer), and combined risk of cancer and death across categories of self-reported average lifetime alcohol intakes, with adjustment for potential confounders. During 836,740 person-years of follow-up (median 8.9 years), 9,599 deaths and 12,763 primary cancers occurred. Positive linear associations were observed between lifetime alcohol consumption and cancer-related mortality and total cancer incidence. J-shaped associations were observed between average lifetime alcohol consumption and overall mortality, cardiovascular-related mortality, and combined risk of death or cancer. In comparison to lifetime light alcohol drinkers (1-3 drinks per week), lifetime never or infrequent drinkers (
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