25 August 2020 In General Health

The beneficial association of the Mediterranean diet (MedDiet) with longevity has been consistently demonstrated, but the associations of MedDiet components have not been accordingly evaluated. We performed an updated meta-analysis of prospective cohort studies published up to 31 December 2017, to quantify the association of adherence to MedDiet, expressed as an index/score (MDS) and of its components with all-cause mortality.

We estimated summary relative risks (SRR) and 95 % CI using random effects models. On the basis of thirty studies (225 600 deaths), SRR for the study-specific highest/lowest and per 1sd MDS increment were 0.79 (95 % CI 0.77, 0.81, Iota 2=42 %, P-heterogeneity 0.02) and 0.92 (95 % CI 0.90, 0.94, Iota 2 56 %, P-heterogeneity <0.01), respectively. Inversely, statistically significant associations were evident in stratified analyses by country, MDS range and publication year, with some evidence for heterogeneity across countries overall (P-heterogeneity 0.011), as well as across European countries (P=0.018).

Regarding MDS components, relatively stronger and statistically significant inverse associations were highlighted for moderate/none-excessive alcohol consumption (0.86, 95 % CI 0.77, 0.97) and for above/below-the-median consumptions of fruit (0.88, 95 % CI 0.83, 0.94) and vegetables (0.94, 95 % CI 0.89, 0.98), whereas a positive association was apparent for above/below-the-median intake of meat (1.07, 95 % CI 1.01, 1.13).

Our meta-analyses confirm the inverse association of MedDiet with mortality and highlight the dietary components that influence mostly this association. Our results are important for better understanding the role of MedDiet in health and proposing dietary changes to effectively increase adherence to this healthy dietary pattern

25 August 2020 In Diabetes

BACKGROUND: Previous cohort studies have shown that moderate alcohol consumption was associated with a lower risk of type 2 diabetes (T2D). However, whether these associations differ according to the characteristics of patients with T2D remains controversial.

OBJECTIVE: The purpose of this study was to explore and summarize the evidence on the strength of the association between alcohol consumption and the subsequent risk of T2D by using a dose-response meta-analytic approach.

DESIGN: We identified potential studies by searching the PubMed, Embase, and Cochrane Library databases up to 24 March 2015. Prospective observational studies that evaluated the relation between alcohol consumption and the risk of T2D and reported its effect estimates with 95% CIs were included.

RESULTS: Analyses were based on 706,716 individuals (275,711 men and 431,005 women) from 26 studies with 31,621 T2D cases. We detected a nonlinear relation between alcohol consumption and the risk of T2D, which was identified in all cohorts (P-trend < 0.001, P-nonlinearity < 0.001), in men (P-trend < 0.001, P-nonlinearity < 0.001), and in women (P-trend < 0.001, P-nonlinearity < 0.001). Compared with the minimal category of alcohol consumption, light (RR: 0.83; 95% CI: 0.73, 0.95; P = 0.005) and moderate (RR: 0.74; 95% CI: 0.67, 0.82; P < 0.001) alcohol consumption was associated with a lower risk of T2D. However, heavy alcohol consumption had little or no effect on subsequent T2D risk. Furthermore, the summary RR ratio (RRR; male to female) of the comparison between moderate alcohol consumption and the minimal alcohol categories for T2D was significantly higher, and the pooled RRR (current smoker to never smoker) of light alcohol consumption was significantly reduced.

CONCLUSIONS: Light and moderate alcohol consumption was associated with a lower risk of T2D, whereas heavy alcohol consumption was not related to the risk of T2D

26 February 2019 In Drinking & Eating Patterns

Low-risk thresholds for alcohol use differ across various national guidelines. To assess the novel WHO risk drinking levels in light of alcohol-sensitive common laboratory tests, we analysed biomarkers of liver status, inflammation and lipid profiles from a population-based survey of individuals classified to abstainers and different WHO risk drinking levels defined in terms of mean alcohol consumption per day. The study included 22,327 participants aged 25-74 years from the National FINRISK Study. Data on alcohol use, health status, diet, body weight and lifestyle (smoking, coffee consumption and physical activity) were recorded from structured interviews. Alcohol data from self-reports covering the past 12 months were used to categorize the participants into subgroups of abstainers and WHO risk drinking categories representing low, moderate, high and very high risk drinkers. Serum liver enzymes (GGT, ALT), C-reactive protein (CRP) and lipid profiles were measured using standard laboratory techniques. Alcohol risk category was roughly linearly related with the occurrence of elevated values for GGT, ALT and CRP. Alcohol drinking also significantly influenced the incidence of abnormalities in serum lipids. Significantly higher odds for abnormal GGT, ALT and altered lipid profiles remained in alcohol drinkers even after adjustment for age, waist circumference, physical inactivity, smoking and coffee consumption. A more systematic use of laboratory tests during treatment of individuals classified to WHO risk drinking categories may improve the assessment of alcohol-related health risks. Follow-ups of biomarker responses may also prove to be useful in health interventions aimed at reducing alcohol consumption.

26 February 2019 In Cancer

Background and aims: Cancer has emerged as the leading cause of death in human populations. The contribution of alcohol has been highly suspected. The purpose of this paper was to analyze the time trend of digestive cancers in Romania, in terms of mortality rates (1955-2012), and incidence rates (2008-2012), and the alcohol consumption data (1961-2010), aiming to find out if there is any association.

Methods: The data on six more common digestive cancers mortality rates (1955-2012) and incidence rates (2008-2012) were obtained from the historical and recent country statistics and publications of International Agency for Research on Cancer (IARC)/World Health Organisation (WHO), as age-standardized rate expressed per 100,000 population (ASRw). Data on alcohol consumption were obtained from the statistics and publications of WHO and United European Gastroenterology (UEG), as liters of pure alcohol/year. Results: Between 1955-2012, the ASRw of mortality registered an increase of the cancers of the esophagus in M (from 2.03 to 3.90), and of colorectal cancer in both sexes (from 4.65 to 18.20 in M, and from 4.57 to 9.70 in F). Between 1980-2012, an increasing trend of mortality was registered, in both sexes, for the cancers of the pancreas (from 5.50 to 9.30 in M and from 2.92 to 5.10 in F) and liver (from 1.77 to 11.00, in M, and from 0.83 to 4.20 in F). In terms of incidence, between 2008-20012, an increasing trend of ASRw was registered for the cancers of the esophagus in M (from 3.90 to 4.30), gastric cancer in M (from 15.90 to 16.30), colorectal cancer in both sexes (from 27.60 to 34.50 in M and from 19.00 to 20.20 in F), pancreatic cancer in F (form 5.20 to 5.90), and liver cancer in M (from 8.10 to 9.20). Alcohol consumption per capita (liters pure alcohol/year) increased in the same period, from an average of 5 in 1961, to 12.8 in 2003-2005, and to 14.4 in 2008-2010.

Conclusions: Given the parallel increase of some digestive cancers and alcohol consumption registered in our area, alcohol could represent more than a coincidence.

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