17 November 2021 In Drinking Patterns

This paper explores trends in beverage preference in adolescents, identifies related regional differences, and examines cluster differences in key drinking measures. Data were obtained from the European School Survey Project on Alcohol and Other Drugs (ESPAD), covering 24 European countries between 1999 and 2019. Trends in the distribution of alcoholic beverages on the participants' most recent drinking occasion were analysed by sex and country using fractional multinomial logit regression. Clusters of countries based on trends and predicted beverage proportions were compared regarding the prevalence of drinkers, mean alcohol volume and prevalence of heavy drinking. Four distinct clusters each among girls and boys emerged. Among girls, there was not one type of beverage that was preferred across clusters, but the proportion of cider/alcopops strongly increased over time in most clusters. Among boys, the proportion of beer decreased, but was dominant across time in all clusters. Only northern European countries formed a geographically defined region with the highest prevalence of heavy drinking and average alcohol volume in both genders. Adolescent beverage preferences are associated with mean alcohol volume and heavy drinking at a country-level. Future approaches to drinking cultures need to take subpopulations such as adolescents into account.

23 September 2021 In General Health

AIM: To evaluate the relationship between habitual alcohol consumption and the risk of falls hospitalization.

METHODS: The EPIC-Norfolk is a prospective population-based cohort study in Norfolk, UK. In total, 25 637 community dwelling adults aged 40-79 years were recruited. Units of alcohol consumed per week were measured using a validated Food Frequency Questionnaire. The main outcome was the first hospital admission following a fall.

RESULTS: Over a median follow-up period of 11.5 years (299 211 total person years), the cumulative incidence function (95% confidence interval) of hospitalized falls at 121-180 months for non-users, light (>0 to 7 to 28 units/week) were 11.08 (9.94-12.35), 7.53 (7.02-8.08), 5.91 (5.29-6.59) and 8.20 (6.35-10.56), respectively. Moderate alcohol consumption was independently associated with a reduced risk of falls hospitalization after adjustment for most major confounders (hazard ratio = 0.88; 95% confidence interval 0.79-0.99). The relationship between light alcohol consumption and falls hospitalization was attenuated by gender differences. Alcohol intake higher than the recommended threshold of 28 units/week was associated with an increased risk of falls hospitalization (hazard ratio 1.40 [1.14-1.73]).

CONCLUSIONS: Moderate alcohol consumption appears to be associated with a reduced risk of falls hospitalization, and intake above the recommended limit is associated with an increased risk. This provides incentive to limit alcohol consumption within the recommended range and has important implications for public health policies for aging populations. Geriatr Gerontol Int 2021; 21: 657-663.

26 May 2021 In General Health
BACKGROUND: The existing findings of the longitudinal impact of low-to-moderate drinking on symptomatic depression were controversial, as results ranged from finding no association to finding both a protective and adverse association. METHODS: The present study examined the association between low-to-moderate alcohol consumption and incident depressive symptoms by pooled analysis of three European, American and Chinese representative samples of middle-aged and older adults. RESULTS: A total of 29,506 participants (55.5% female) were included. During 278,782 person-years of follow-up, we found that subjects with low-to-moderate drinking had a significantly lower incidence of depressive symptoms compared to never-drinking subjects, with pooled hazard ratios of 0.87 (95% confidence interval [CI]: 0.79-0.96) for men and 0.87 (95% CI: 0.80-0.95) for women, whereas heavy drinkers failed to show significantly higher risk of depressive symptoms. Furthermore, a J-shaped relation between alcohol consumption and incident depressive symptoms was identified in Chinese men, US men, and UK men and women. LIMITATIONS: The classification of depressive symptoms based on the Center for Epidemiologic Studies Depression Scale may not be completely comparable to diagnosis from a clinical setting. CONCLUSIONS: Low-to-moderate alcohol consumption was significantly associated with a lower risk of depressive symptoms on a long-term basis compared to never drinking. Our results support the threshold of moderate drinking in current US guidelines. However, caution should be exercised in engaging in guideline-concordant drinking habits, for even moderate drinkers are at risk of developing heavy drinking habits and experiencing future alcohol-related problems.
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