General Health

Moderate wine drinkers have a lower risk to die from any cause (lower total  mortality risk) than those who abstain or drink heavily. This widely accepted association is known as the J-curve. This J-curve is attributable to the beneficial effect on cardiovascular health which compensates the negative effects of some cancers resulting in a lower risk to die from any possible cause. The relative risk of dying is lowest among light to moderate drinkers and increased among abstainers. However, the risk increases dramatically with each drink above moderation. Thus, while one or two glasses can be considered “good for your health”, drinking more than what guidelines suggest will not provide more benefits, only more harm.


If consumed in excess, alcoholic beverages increase the exposure to a wide range of risk factors whereby the risk rises with the amount of alcohol consumed. Thus, it is crucial to prevent abusive consumption. Alcohol abuse is associated with a range of long-term chronic diseases that reduce the quality of life. These include hypertension, cardiovascular problems, cirrhosis of the liver, alcohol dependence, various forms of cancer, alcohol-related brain damage and a range of other problems. Not only the amount of alcohol but also the drinking patterns are important. Findings from a meta analysis support results from other studies that binge drinking is detrimental to heart health. The authors concluded that it is best for drinkers to avoid binge drinking -- not only because of the possible heart effects, but also because of more immediate risks, like accidents and violence.


In addition to health issues resulting from excessive alcohol consumption, there are social consequences, both for the drinker and for others in the community. The consequences include harm to family members (including children), to friends and colleagues as well as to bystanders and strangers.


The above summary provides an overview of the topic, for more details and specific questions, please refer to the articles in the database.



OBJECTIVE: This study examined level of wine consumption and total mortality among 802 older adults ages 55-65 at baseline, controlling for key sociodemographic, behavioral, and health status factors. Despite a growing consensus that moderate alcohol consumption is associated with reduced total mortality, whether wine consumption provides an additional, unique protective effect is unresolved. METHOD: Participants were categorized in three subsamples: abstainers, high-wine-consumption moderate drinkers, and low-wine-consumption moderate drinkers. Alcohol consumption, sociodemographic factors, health behavior, and health problems were assessed at baseline; total mortality was indexed across an ensuing 20-year period. RESULTS: After adjusting for all covariates, both high-wine-consumption and low-wine-consumption moderate drinkers showed reduced mortality risks compared with abstainers. Further, compared with moderate drinkers for whom a high proportion of…
BACKGROUND: Actinic keratoses (AKs) are premalignant actinic tumors of the skin. Evaluation of the role of diet in their development is lacking. OBJECTIVE: The objective was to determine whether intake of certain food groups or dietary patterns retard the occurrence of AKs over a 4.5-y period. DESIGN: In a community-based study of skin cancer in Queensland, Australia, food intake of 1119 adults was assessed in 1992, 1994, and 1996 by using a validated food-frequency questionnaire. Dermatologists counted prevalent AKs during full-body skin examinations in 1992 and 1996. The relative ratio (RR) of AK counts in 1996 relative to 1992 was compared across increasing intakes of 26 food groups, and for 3 dietary patterns identified by principal components analysis, with the…
OBJECTIVES: Recognition of alcohol-related health problems in the elderly is challenging. Alcohol use also tends to be a hidden issue. The aim of this study was to examine the prevalence and at-risk drinking patterns in community-dwelling older adults and their associations with socio-demographic and health-related factors. DESIGN: The data were collected with a postal questionnaire from a random sample of 2100 elderly people (>/= 65 years) living in the medium-sized city of Espoo, Finland. The response rate was 71.6% from the community-dwelling sample. We defined the amount of at-risk drinking as 1) consuming >7 drinks per week or 2) >5 drinks on a typical drinking day or 3) using >3 drinks several times per week. RESULTS: Of the respondents, 8.2%…
AIMS: To explore temporal trends since 1980 in alcohol-related death for people resident in the European Union (EU) and to examine differences between EU members admitted prior to 2004 and new EU members admitted since 2004. METHODS: The data were extracted from the World Health Organization's European mortality database and the European Health for All database. RESULTS: New EU members had higher rates of alcohol-related deaths (135.0 +/- 18.48 vs 88.9 +/- 18.93; t = -8.55 (d.f. = 46), p < .001) and higher death rates from alcohol abuse (whole population: 3.4 +/- 1.24 vs 2.6 +/- 0.12; t = -2.98 (d.f. = 23.45), p < .01; male population: 6.1 +/- 2.17 vs 4.4 +/- 0.19; t = -3.87 (d.f.…
Objectives Using common alcohol consumption categories, to conduct a pooled analysis of six ongoing large-scale cohort studies in Japan in order to produce concrete estimates of the quantitative contribution of alcohol consumption to all-cause and major causes of mortality in the Japanese population. Methods Of the 309 082 subjects, there were 35 801 deaths during 3 832 285 person-years of follow-up. Using a random-effect model, we conducted a meta-analysis of the HRs of each alcohol consumption category in each study, thereby obtaining pooled estimates for the risk of total and major causes of mortality due to alcohol consumption. Results There was a J- or U-shaped association for the risk of total and major causes of mortality in men, and the…
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