BACKGROUND The relationship between alcohol consumption and metabolic syndrome (MetS) remains controversial. This study investigated the relationship between alcohol consumption and MetS components and prevalence.

MATERIAL AND METHODS We analyzed 10 037 subjects (3076 MetS and 6961 non-MetS) in a community-based cohort. MetS was defined according to the ATP III Guidelines. Subjects were divided according to amount of alcohol consumption; non-drinker, very light (0.1-5.0 g/day), light (5.1-15.0 g/day), moderate (15.1-30.0 g/day), and heavy drinker (>30 g/day). Multiple logistic regression models were performed to estimate odds ratios (ORs) and confidence intervals (CIs). The analyses were performed in men and women separately. SPSS statistical software was used for analyses.

RESULTS The prevalence of MetS in both males and females was associated with alcohol drinking status (p<0.0001). Amount of alcohol consumption (0.1-5.0 g/day) was significantly associated with lower prevalence of MetS in both genders compared to non-drinkers. Amount of alcohol consumption (>30.0 g/day) did not show a significant association with prevalence of MetS. However, alcohol consumption (>30.0 g/day) showed an association with glucose and HDL cholesterol among the components of MetS.

CONCLUSIONS Our results indicate that alcohol drinking (0.1-5.0 g/day) contributed to decrease prevalence of MetS and components, including triglyceride and HDL cholesterol.

Published in Diabetes

Previous studies suggest that alcohol consumption and risk of breast cancer may differ by histologic subtype and hormone receptor status, though results are not entirely consistent. In this population-based case-control study, we evaluated the association between alcohol consumption and risk of invasive ductal carcinoma (IDC), invasive lobular carcinoma (ILC), and invasive ductal-lobular carcinoma (IDLC) overall and by estrogen receptor (ER) status, among women aged 55-74 years of age. Using polytomous regression, associations between current alcohol consumption, overall and by type of alcohol, and breast cancer risk were evaluated in 891 controls and 905 IDC, 567 ILC, and 489 IDLC cases. Current alcohol use was moderately associated with risk of ILC (odds ratio = 1.25, 95% confidence interval 0.99, 1.58) with a positive dose-response relationship based on average number of drinks per week consumed (P trend = 0.0005). When further stratified by ER status, alcohol use was positively associated with risk of ER+ ILC (P trend = 0.002) and ER+ IDC (P trend = 0.02), but inversely associated with risk of ER-IDC (P trend = 0.01). No association between alcohol and risk of IDLC tumors was observed. While the link between alcohol consumption and breast cancer risk is well established, our results suggest that the increased risk associated with alcohol is largely limited to ER+ ILC and ER+ IDC. Thus, avoiding or moderating alcohol consumption may be one way that women can lower their risks of these forms of breast cancer.

Published in Cancer
The prevalence of binge drinking is rising in the United States. While alcohol is a breast cancer risk factor, less is known about the impact of episodic heavy drinking. Breast cancer-free women, ages 35-74, were enrolled in the Sister Study from 2003-2009 (n = 50,884). United States or Puerto Rico residents who had a sister with breast cancer were eligible. Multivariable Cox regression was used to estimate adjusted hazard ratios (HRs) and 95% confidence intervals (CIs) for breast cancer. 1,843 invasive breast cancers were diagnosed during follow-up (mean = 6.4 years). Increased breast cancer risk was observed for higher lifetime alcohol intake (>/=230 drinks/year, HR = 1.35, 95% CI: 1.15, 1.58 versus <60 drinks/year). Relative to low drinkers, HRs were increased for ever binge drinking (HR = 1.29, 95% CI: 1.15, 1.45) or blacking out (HR = 1.39, 95% CI: 1.17, 1.64). Compared to low drinkers who never binged, moderate drinkers who binged had a higher risk (HR = 1.25, 95% CI: 1.08, 1.44). There was evidence of effect modification between moderate lifetime drinking and binging (relative excess risk due to interaction (RERI) = 0.33, 95% CI: 0.10, 0.57). Our findings support the established association between lifetime alcohol and breast cancer and provide evidence for an increased risk associated with heavy episodic drinking, especially among moderate lifetime drinkers
Published in Cancer

The relation of alcohol consumption with disease burden remains debated partly due to opposite associations with cardiovascular disease (CVD) and cancer. The relation of alcohol consumption with disease burden expressed in disability-adjusted life years (DALYs) summarizes opposing associations of alcohol consumption on chronic diseases. This study aimed to investigate the association of alcohol consumption with chronic disease burden expressed in DALYs based on individual-participant data. The study was a prospective study among 33,066 men and women from the EPIC-NL cohort. At baseline, alcohol consumption was assessed with a validated food-frequency questionnaire. Participants were followed for occurrence of and mortality from chronic diseases and DALYs were calculated. After 12.4 years follow-up, 6647 disease incidences and 1482 deaths were documented, resulting in 68,225 healthy years of life lost (6225 DALYs). Moderate drinkers (women 5-14.9 g/day, men 5-29.9 g/day) had a lower chronic disease burden (mean DALYs -0.27; 95% CI -0.43; -0.11) than light drinkers (0-4.9 g/day), driven by a lower disease burden due to CVD (-0.18: -0.29; -0.06) but not cancer (-0.05: -0.16; 0.06). The associations were most pronounced among older participants (>/=50 years; -0.32; -0.53; -0.10) and not observed among younger women (-0.08; -0.43; 0.35), albeit non-significant (pinteraction > 0.14). Substantial drinking (women 15-29.9 g/day, men 30-59.9 g/day) compared to light drinking was not associated with chronic disease burden. Our results show that moderate compared to light alcohol consumption was associated with living approximately 3 months longer in good health. These results were mainly observed among older participants and not seen among younger women.

Published in General Health

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