28 April 2022 In General Health
BACKGROUND AND AIMS: Alcohol consumption is a major threat to global health. The aim of the present study was to explore the association between alcohol consumption and chronic kidney disease (CKD) in a Chinese population. METHODS AND RESULTS: A total of 4664 participants, aged >/=18 years, who participated in a baseline alcohol survey in 1997 and were followed up in 2009 of the China Health and Nutrition Survey (CHNS), were recruited in the current study. Data on alcohol consumption was obtained using standardized questionnaires, with CKD (defined as eGFR
28 April 2022 In General Health

Alcohol exposure, and particularly chronic heavy drinking, affects all components of the adaptive immune system. Studies both in humans and in animal models determined that chronic alcohol abuse reduces the number of peripheral T cells, disrupts the balance between different T-cell types, influences T-cell activation, impairs T-cell functioning, and promotes T-cell apoptosis.

Chronic alcohol exposure also seems to cause loss of peripheral B cells, while simultaneously inducing increased production of immunoglobulins. In particular, the levels of antibodies against liver-specific autoantigens are increased in patients with alcoholic liver disease and may promote alcohol-related liver damage. Finally, chronic alcohol exposure in utero interferes with normal T-cell and B-cell development, which may increase the risk of infections during both childhood and adulthood.

Alcohol's impact on T cells and B cells increases the risk of infections (e.g., pneumonia, HIV infection, hepatitis C virus infection, and tuberculosis), impairs responses to vaccinations against such infections, exacerbates cancer risk, and interferes with delayed-type hypersensitivity. In contrast to these deleterious effects of heavy alcohol exposure, moderate alcohol consumption may have beneficial effects on the adaptive immune system, including improved responses to vaccination and infection. The molecular mechanisms underlying ethanol's impact on the adaptive immune system remain poorly understood.

28 April 2022 In General Health

Data are conflicting about the effects of alcohol intake on kidney function. This population-based study investigated associations of alcohol intake with kidney function and mortality. The study cohort included adult participants in Exam-1, Exam-2 (6-year follow-up), and Exam-3 (20-year follow-up) of the Gubbio study.

Kidney function was evaluated as estimated glomerular filtration rate (eGFR, CKD-Epi equation, mL/min x 1.73 m(2)). Daily habitual alcohol intake was assessed by questionnaires. Wine intake accounted for >94% of total alcohol intake at all exams. Alcohol intake significantly tracked over time (R > 0.66, p < 0.001). Alcohol intake distribution was skewed at all exams (skewness > 2) and was divided into four strata for analyses (g/day = 0, 1-24, 25-48, and >48). Strata of alcohol intake differed substantially for lab markers of alcohol intake (p < 0.001).

In multivariable regression, strata of alcohol intake related cross-sectionally to eGFR at all exams (Exam-1: B = 1.70, p < 0.001; Exam-2: B = 1.03, p < 0.001; Exam-3: B = 0.55, p = 0.010) and related longitudinally to less negative eGFR change from Exam-1 to Exam-2 (B = 0.133, p = 0.002) and from Exam-2 to Exam-3 (B = 0.065, p = 0.004). In multivariable Cox models, compared to no intake, intakes > 24 g/day were not associated with different mortality while an intake of 1-24 g/day was associated with lower mortality in the whole cohort (HR = 0.77, p = 0.003) and in the subgroup with eGFR < 60 mL/min x 1.73 m(2) (HR = 0.69, p = 0.033). These data indicate a positive independent association of alcohol intake with kidney function not due to a mortality-related selection.

28 April 2022 In General Health

IMPORTANCE: The US has experienced increasing socioeconomic inequalities and stagnating life expectancy. Past studies have not disentangled 2 mechanisms thought to underlie socioeconomic inequalities in health, differential exposure and differential vulnerability, that have different policy implications.

OBJECTIVE: To evaluate the extent to which the association between socioeconomic status (SES) and all-cause mortality can be decomposed into a direct effect of SES, indirect effects through lifestyle factors (differential exposure), and joint effects of SES with lifestyle factors (differential vulnerability).

DESIGN SETTING AND PARTICIPANTS: This nationwide, population-based cohort study used the cross-sectional US National Health Interview Survey linked to the National Death Index. Civilian, noninstitutionalized US adults aged 25 to 84 years were included from the 1997 to 2014 National Health Interview Survey and were followed up until December 31, 2015. Data were analyzed from May 1 to October 31, 2021. A causal mediation model using an additive hazard and marginal structural approach was used.

EXPOSURES: Both SES (operationalized as educational attainment) and lifestyle risk factors (smoking, alcohol use, obesity, and physical inactivity) were assessed using self-reported questionnaires.

MAIN OUTCOMES AND MEASURES: Time to all-cause mortality.

RESULTS: Participants included 415 764 adults (mean [SD] age, 49.4 [15.8] years; 55% women; 64% non-Hispanic White), of whom 45% had low educational attainment and 27% had high educational attainment. Participants were followed up for a mean (SD) of 8.8 (5.2) years during which 49 096 deaths (12%) were observed. Low educational attainment (compared with high) was associated with 83.6 (men; 95% CI, 81.8-85.5) and 54.8 (women; 95% CI, 53.4-56.2) additional deaths per 10 000 person-years, of which 66% (men) and 80% (women) were explained by lifestyle factors. Inequalities in mortality were primarily a result of greater exposure and clustering of unhealthy lifestyle factors among low SES groups; with some exceptions among women, little evidence of differential vulnerability was identified.

CONCLUSIONS AND RELEVANCE: In this cohort study, differential exposure to lifestyle risk factors was an important mediator of socioeconomic inequalities in mortality. Public health interventions are needed, particularly among low SES groups, to address smoking, physical inactivity, alcohol use, and the socioenvironmental contexts within which these risk factors develop.

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