27 October 2016 In Diabetes

The prevalence of the metabolic syndrome is rising worldwide. Its association with alcohol intake, a major lifestyle factor, is unclear, particularly with respect to the influence of drinking with as opposed to outside of meals. We investigated the associations of different aspects of alcohol consumption with the metabolic syndrome and its components. In cross-sectional analyses of 14,375 active or retired civil servants (aged 35-74 years) participating in the Brazilian Longitudinal Study of Adult Health (ELSA-Brasil), we fitted logistic regression models to investigate interactions between the quantity of alcohol, the timing of its consumption with respect to meals, and the predominant beverage type in the association of alcohol consumption with the metabolic syndrome. In analyses adjusted for age, sex, educational level, income, socioeconomic status, ethnicity, smoking, body mass index, and physical activity, light consumption of alcoholic beverages with meals was inversely associated with the metabolic syndrome (/=14 drinks/week: OR = 1.60, 95%CI 1.29-1.98). Drinking predominantly wine, which occurred mostly with meals, was significantly related to a lower syndrome prevalence; drinking predominantly beer, most notably when outside of meals and in larger quantity, was frequently associated with a greater prevalence. In conclusion, the alcohol-metabolic syndrome association differs markedly depending on the relationship of intake to meals. Beverage preference-wine or beer-appears to underlie at least part of this difference. Notably, most alcohol was consumed in metabolically unfavorable type and timing. If further investigations extend these findings to clinically relevant endpoints, public policies should recommend that alcohol, when taken, should be preferably consumed with meals.

27 October 2016 In Diabetes

OBJECTIVE: To generate evidence-based conclusions about the effect of wine consumption on weight gain and abdominal fat accumulation and distribution in patients with type 2 diabetes.

DESIGN: In the 2-year randomized controlled CASCADE (CArdiovaSCulAr Diabetes & Ethanol) trial, patients following a Mediterranean diet were randomly assigned to drink 150 ml of mineral water, white wine or red wine with dinner for 2 years. Visceral adiposity and abdominal fat distribution were measured in a subgroup of sixty-five participants, using abdominal MRI.

SETTING: Ben-Gurion University of the Negev, Soroka-Medical Center and the Nuclear Research Center Negev, Israel.

SUBJECTS: Alcohol-abstaining adults with well-controlled type 2 diabetes.

RESULTS: Forty-eight participants (red wine, n 27; mineral water, n 21) who completed a second MRI measurement were included in the 2-year analysis. Similar weight losses (sd) were observed: red wine 1.3 (3.9) kg; water 1.0 (4.2) kg (P=0.8 between groups). Changes (95 % CI) in abdominal adipose-tissue distribution were similar: red wine, visceral adipose tissue (VAT) -3.0 (-8.0, 2.0) %, deep subcutaneous adipose tissue (DSAT) +5.2 (-1.1, 11.6) %, superficial subcutaneous adipose tissue (SSAT) -1.9 (-5.0, 1.2) %; water, VAT -3.2 (-8.9, 2.5) %, DSAT +2.9 (-2.8, 8.6) %, SSAT -0.15 (-3.3, 2.9) %. No changes in antidiabetic medication and no substantial changes in energy intake (+126 (sd 2889) kJ/d (+30.2 (sd 690) kcal/d), P=0.8) were recorded. A 2-year decrease in glycated Hb (beta=0.28, P=0.05) was associated with a decrease in VAT.

CONCLUSIONS: Moderate wine consumption, as part of a Mediterranean diet, in persons with controlled diabetes did not promote weight gain or abdominal adiposity.

25 October 2016 In General Health

Drinking within recommended limits is highly prevalent in much of the world, and strong epidemiological associations exist between moderate alcohol consumption and risk of several major chronic diseases, including coronary heart disease, diabetes, and breast cancer. In many cases, plausible biological mediators for these associations have been identified in randomized trials, but gold standard evidence that moderate drinking causes or prevents any chronic disease remains elusive and important concerns about available evidence have been raised. Although long-term randomized trials to test the observed associations have been termed impossible, clinical investigators have now successfully completed randomized trials of complex nutritional interventions in a variety of settings, along with trials of alcohol consumption itself of up to 2 years duration. The successful completion of these trials suggests that objections to the execution of a full-scale, long-term clinical trial of moderate drinking on chronic disease are increasingly untenable. We present potential lessons learned for such a trial and discuss key features to maximize its feasibility and value.

02 August 2016 In Liver Disease

BACKGROUND & AIMS: Studies assessing alcohol as a population-level risk factor for cirrhosis, typically focus on per capita consumption. However, clinical studies indicate that daily intake is a strong predictor of alcoholic cirrhosis. We aimed to identify the determinants of alcohol's contribution to the global cirrhosis burden and to evaluate the influence of daily drinking on a population level.

METHODS: We performed a comprehensive analysis of the WHO 2014 Global Status Report on Alcohol and Health. We categorized countries by heavy or moderate drinking based on daily consumption, using U.S. Department of Agriculture definitions of heavy drinking. Additional data on cirrhosis cofactors were also obtained. Uni- and multivariate models were fitted to identify independent predictors of the alcohol-attributable fraction of cirrhosis.

RESULTS: The WHO 2014 Report found that half of cirrhosis mortality worldwide is attributable to alcohol, approximating 60% in North America and Europe. In an integrative multivariate model, the designation of countries by moderate or heavy daily drinking had the strongest influence on the weight of alcohol in the cirrhosis burden. The relative contribution from alcohol increased by 11% with a transition from the moderate to heavy classification (p<0.001). Importantly, drinking patterns such as heavy episodic drinking and the type of alcohol did not independently predict the alcohol-attributable fraction of cirrhosis.

CONCLUSIONS: Heavy daily drinking on a population level significantly influences the weight of alcohol in the cirrhosis burden. Reducing heavy drinking should be considered as an important target for public health monitoring and policies.

LAY SUMMARY: We carried out an analysis of the WHO 2014 Global Status Report on Alcohol and Health, and categorized countries by their level of drinking (heavy or moderate). We found that half of the global cirrhosis cases, and 60% in both North America and Europe are associated with alcohol intake. We concluded that on a population level heavy daily drinking significantly influences the impact of alcohol on the cirrhosis burden.

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