26 January 2022 In Drinking Patterns

INTRODUCTION: The Australian guidelines to reduce health risks from drinking alcohol were released in 2020 by the National Health and Medical Research Council. Based on the latest evidence, the guidelines provide advice on how to keep the risk of harm from alcohol low. They refer to an Australian standard drink (10 g ethanol).

RECOMMENDATIONS: *Guideline 1: To reduce the risk of harm from alcohol-related disease or injury, healthy men and women should drink no more than ten standard drinks a week and no more than four standard drinks on any one day. The less you drink, the lower your risk of harm from alcohol. *Guideline 2: To reduce the risk of injury and other harms to health, children and people under 18 years of age should not drink alcohol. *Guideline 3: To prevent harm from alcohol to their unborn child, women who are pregnant or planning a pregnancy should not drink alcohol. For women who are breastfeeding, not drinking alcohol is safest for their baby.

CHANGES AS RESULT OF THE GUIDELINE: The recommended limit for healthy adults changed from two standard drinks per day (effectively 14 per week) to ten per week. The new guideline states that the less you drink, the lower your risk of harm from alcohol. The recommended maximum on any one day remains four drinks (clarified from previously "per drinking occasion"). Guidance is clearer for pregnancy and breastfeeding, and for people aged less than 18 years, recommending not drinking.

17 November 2021 In Drinking Patterns

BACKGROUND: In many countries, lockdown measures were implemented to curb the COVID-19 pandemic. This situation may have an impact on mental health, tobacco smoking and alcohol consumption. The aim of this research report is therefore to describe changes in tobacco and alcohol consumption in the general French population during the first 2 weeks of lockdown and identify any associated factors.

METHODS: Self-reported changes in smoking and alcohol consumption following the lockdown implemented in France on 17 March 2020 were collected from 2003 respondents aged 18 years and older in an online cross-sectional survey carried out from 30 March to 1 April 2020. Anxiety and depression levels were assessed using the Hospital Anxiety and Depression Scale.

RESULTS: Among current smokers, 26.7% reported an increase in their tobacco consumption since lockdown and 18.6% reported a decrease, while it remained stable for 54.7%. The increase in tobacco consumption was associated with an age of 18-34 years, a high level of education, and anxiety. Among alcohol drinkers, 10.7% reported an increase in their alcohol consumption since lockdown and 24.4% reported a decrease, while it remained stable for 64.8%. The increase in alcohol consumption was associated with an age of 18-49 years, living in cities of more than 100 000 inhabitants, a high socio-professional category, and a depressive mood.

CONCLUSIONS: The national lockdown implemented in France during the COVID-19 pandemic influenced tobacco and alcohol consumption in different ways according to sociodemographic group and mental health.

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 November 2020 In General Health

A previous meta-analysis provided convincing evidence for an inverse association between adherence to a Mediterranean diet (MedDiet) and the risk of all-cause mortality. Since then, 19 prospective studies have been published. We updated the evidence from these prospective studies and conducted a dose-response meta-analysis to test the linear and potential nonlinear dose-response associations between adherence to a MedDiet and the risk of all-cause mortality.

The PubMed, Scopus, ISI Web of Knowledge, and Embase bibliographic databases were systematically searched up to August 24, 2018. Summary HRs were estimated with the use of a random-effects meta-analysis to assess the association between a 2-point increment in MedDiet adherence and the risk of all-cause mortality. Sensitivity and subgroup analyses were performed and potential publication bias was tested. Twenty-nine prospective studies with 1,676,901 participants and 221,603 cases of all-cause mortality were included in the final analysis.

The pooled HR of all-cause mortality was 0.90 (95% CI: 0.89, 0.91; I2 = 81.1%) for a 2-point increment in adherence to a MedDiet. Subgroup analyses showed that a significant inverse association was stronger in participants who lived in the Mediterranean region compared with non-Mediterranean areas (HRs: 0.82 compared with 0.92, respectively), and in studies that used the Panagiotakos MedDiet score.

A nonlinear dose-response meta-analysis indicated that the risk of all-cause mortality linearly decreased with the increase in adherence to a MedDiet. The robustness of findings was confirmed in the sensitivity analyses. In conclusion, low-quality evidence from prospective cohort studies suggests an inverse association between adherence to a MedDiet and the risk of all-cause mortality, especially in Mediterranean regions. An inverse linear dose-response relation was also observed between adherence to a MedDiet and the risk of all-cause mortality.

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