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: To describe the association between alcohol beverage preference and dietary habits comparing wine drinkers with other alcoholic beverage drinkers and with nondrinkers in Spanish university graduates. SUBJECTS: A total of 10 526 men and women, who were recruited using mailed questionnaires, participated in this study. METHODS: A semiquantitative food frequency questionnaire previously validated in Spain was used together with other questionnaires designed to collect lifestyle characteristics. RESULTS: Wine drinkers reported higher intake of fibre and olive oil, and lower consumption of fat (only men), dairy products, sugared soda drinks and fast food as compared with other alcoholic beverage groups and nondrinkers. Men nondrinkers were more likely to be physically active during their leisure time than wine drinkers. No relevant…
OBJECTIVE: Assessment of relation between metabolic syndrome (MS) and Mediterranean diet (MD) adherence. DESIGN: Cross-sectional study. ATP III definition of MS was used. Adherence to MD was assessed with a Food Frequency Questionnaire. Intakes of cereal, fruit, legumes, vegetables, fish, nuts, monounsaturated to saturated ratio, alcohol from red wine, whole-fat dairy products and red meat were considered. SETTING: Representative sample of population from the Canary Islands (Spain) participating in the Canarian Nutrition Survey (ENCA). SUBJECTS: 578 adults>18 years. RESULTS: Of the subjects, 24.4% presented MS. Once adjusted, MD adherence was not related to MS prevalence, but subjects in the third tertile of adherence presented 70% lower prevalence of the blood pressure criteria and 2.5 times more prevalence of the glycaemia…
Alcohol, like mental health, is a neglected topic in public health discussions. However, it should be defined as a priority public health area because the evidence available to support this is very persuasive. Although only half the world's population drinks alcohol, it is the world's third leading cause of ill health and premature death, after low birth weight and unsafe sex, and the world's greatest cause of ill health and premature death among individuals between 25 and 59 years of age. This article aims to outline current global experiences with alcohol policies and suggests how to communicate better evidence-based policy responses to alcohol-related harm using narratives. The text summarizes 6 actions to provide incentives that would favor a healthier relationship…
BACKGROUND: Recent findings suggest that alcohol consumption may reduce risk of multiple myeloma. METHODS: To better understand this relationship, we conducted an analysis of six case-control studies participating in the International Multiple Myeloma Consortium (1,567 cases, 7,296 controls). Summary ORs and 95% confidence intervals (CI) relating different measures of alcohol consumption and multiple myeloma risk were computed by unconditional logistic regression with adjustment for age, race, and study center. RESULTS: Cases were significantly less likely than controls to report ever drinking alcohol (men: OR = 0.72; 95% CI, 0.59-0.89; women: OR = 0.81; 95% CI, 0.68-0.95). The inverse association with multiple myeloma was stronger when comparing current to never drinkers (men: OR = 0.57; 95% CI, 0.45-0.72; women: OR =…
OBJECTIVE: We examined associations between two Mediterranean diet (MD) adherence indexes (the MD index, MDI, and the MD score, MDS) and several blood biomarkers of diet and disease. SUBJECTS: We studied 328 individuals from Catalonia (Northeastern Spain), ages 18-75, who provided fasting blood samples, a subset of the 2346 individuals as part of a larger representative and random sample from the 1992-1993 Catalan Nutritional Survey. DESIGN AND METHOD: Diet was measured using 24-h recalls. Biomarkers studied were plasma levels of beta-carotene, alpha-tocopherol, retinol, vitamins B12, C and folates as well as serum total cholesterol, HDL cholesterol, LDL cholesterol and triglycerides. Multivariate linear regression was used to analyse associations of the nutrient biomarkers with the dietary pattern indexes, adjusting for potential…
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