23 November 2022 In Drinking Patterns

Excessive consumption of alcohol is not only a social problem, but it also significantly increases the morbidity and mortality rates of many societies. A correlation has been demonstrated between alcohol consumption and increased mortality from cancer, accidents and injuries, liver cirrhosis and other causes. Alcohol abuse increases the incidence of hemorrhagic stroke and the risk of ischemic stroke, induces serious arrhythmias, adversely affects blood pressure and damages the heart muscle. The dose and way of drinking alcohol play a crucial role in assessing whether this drink allows people to maintain health or whether it is a great health and social threat. The beneficial effects of low and moderate doses of alcohol on the occurrence of cardiovascular diseases have been shown in many population studies and meta-analyses in which the effect of U-shaped or J-shaped curves relating alcohol intake to cardiovascular mortality was observed, especially in ischemic heart disease. However, due to the fact that alcohol consumption is associated with many health hazards, it is not recommended to consume it as a preventive action of cardiovascular diseases. Moreover, recent studies suggest that association of low-to-moderate alcohol consumption with the reduction in cardiovascular risk is a result of lifestyle changes and that any reduction in alcohol consumption is in fact beneficial in terms of general health.

23 November 2022 In Drinking Patterns

Although excessive alcohol consumption is a highly prevalent public health problem the data on the associations between alcohol consumption and health outcomes in individuals preferring different types of alcoholic beverages has remained unclear. We examined the relationships between the amounts and patterns of drinking with the data on laboratory indices of liver function, lipid status and inflammation in a national population-based health survey (FINRISK). Data on health status, alcohol drinking, types of alcoholic beverages preferred, body weight, smoking, coffee consumption and physical activity were recorded from 22,432 subjects (10,626 men, 11,806 women), age range 25-74 years. The participants were divided to subgroups based on the amounts of regular alcohol intake (abstainers, moderate and heavy drinkers), patterns of drinking (binge or regular) and the type of alcoholic beverage preferred (wine, beer, cider or long drink, hard liquor or mixed). Regular drinking was found to be more typical in wine drinkers whereas the subjects preferring beer or hard liquor were more often binge-type drinkers and cigarette smokers. Alcohol use in all forms was associated with increased frequencies of abnormalities in the markers of liver function, lipid status and inflammation even at rather low levels of consumption. The highest rates of abnormalities occurred, however, in the subgroups of binge-type drinkers preferring beer or hard liquor. These results demonstrate that adverse consequences of alcohol occur even at moderate average drinking levels especially in individuals who engage in binge drinking and in those preferring beer or hard liquor. Further emphasis should be placed on such patterns of drinking in policies aimed at preventing alcohol-induced adverse health outcomes.

23 November 2022 In Dementia

BACKGROUND: Previous studies on associations of alcohol use with memory decline showed inconclusive results. We examined these associations using longitudinal data from the Guangzhou Biobank Cohort Study (GBCS) and explored whether these associations varied by sex and age group.

METHODS: Memory function was assessed by delayed 10-word recall test (DWRT) and immediate 10-word recall test (IWRT) at both baseline (2003-2008) and follow-up (2008-2012) examinations, expressed as the mean annual change and mean annual rate of change in scores. Memory cognitive impairment was defined by DWRT scores of less than 4. Multivariable linear regression models and restricted cubic spline were used for data analysis.

RESULTS: Of 14,827 participants without memory cognitive impairment at baseline, 90.2% were never or occasional drinkers, 5% moderate drinkers, 1.5% excessive drinkers, and 3.3% former drinkers. The mean (standard deviation) age was 60.6 (6.6) years old. During an average of 4.1 years follow-up, 1000 (6.7%) participants developed memory cognitive impairment. After adjusting for confounders, compared with never or occasional drinkers, moderate and excessive drinkers had significant decline in DWRT scores (beta, 95% confidence interval (CI) = -0.04 (-0.08 to -0.01), and - 0.07 (-0.14 to 0.01), respectively), and IWRT scores (beta, 95% CI = -0.10 (-0.19 to -0.01), and - 0.15 (-0.30 to 0.01), respectively) annually. With respect to the mean annual rate of change, moderate and excessive drinkers also showed greater decline in DWRT scores (beta, 95% CI = -1.02% (-1.87% to -0.16%), and - 1.64% (-3.14% to -0.14%), respectively). The associations did not vary by sex and age group (all P values for interaction >/= 0.10).

CONCLUSION: Compared to never or occasional alcohol use, moderate and excessive alcohol users had greater memory decline and the associations did not vary by sex and age group.

23 November 2022 In Cardiovascular System

Alcohol is often cited to be a common cause of cardiomyopathy and heart failure. However, in most available population-based studies, a modest-to-moderate alcohol consumption has been associated with favorable effects on the cardiovascular system, including a lowered risk of heart failure, compared with no alcohol consumption. Available genetic epidemiological data have not supported a causal association between alcohol consumption and heart failure risk, suggesting that alcohol may not be a common cause of heart failure in the community. Data linking alcohol intake with cardiomyopathy risk are sparse, and the concept of alcoholic cardiomyopathy stems mainly from case series of selected patients with dilated cardiomyopathy, where a large proportion reported a history of excessive alcohol intake. This state-of-the-art paper addresses the current knowledge of the epidemiology of alcoholic cardiomyopathy and the role of alcohol intake in patients with non-alcohol-related heart failure. It also offers directions to future research in the area. The review questions the validity of current clinical teaching in the area. It is not well known how much alcohol is needed to cause disease, and the epidemiological pathways linking alcohol consumption to cardiomyopathy and heart failure are not well understood. Until more evidence becomes available, caution is warranted before labeling patients as having alcoholic cardiomyopathy due to a risk of neglecting other contributors, such as genetic causes of cardiomyopathy. In non-alcohol-related heart failure, it is unknown whether total abstinence is improving outcomes (compared with moderate drinking). Ideally, randomized clinical trials are needed to answer this question.

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