28 April 2022 In Dementia

BACKGROUND: Dementia indicates a significant disease burden worldwide with increased population aging. This study aimed to investigate the impact of alcohol consumption on the risk of cognitive impairment in older adults.

METHODS: Participants >/= 60 years were administered the Digit Symbol Substitution Test (DSST) to evaluate cognitive function in National Health and Nutrition Examination Survey (NHANES) cycles from 1999 to 2002 and 2011 to 2014 for enrollment in the present study. Participants were categorized into non-drinker, drinker, and heavy drinker groups. Logistic regression analyses were performed to explore associations between cognitive impairment and alcohol consumption.

RESULTS: Multivariate analysis showed that older adults, men, people from minority races, persons with lower education or income levels, social difficulties, hypertension, or chronic kidney disease were significantly associated with a higher risk of cognitive impairment (all p < 0.05). In the young old (60-69 years), heavy amount of alcohol drinking was significantly associated with lower risk of cognitive impairment compared with drinkers [adjusted odds ratio (aOR): 0.280, 95% Confidence interval (CI) 0.095-0.826]. But in the middle old persons (>/= 70 years), heavy alcohol drinking was associated with higher risk of cognitive impairment (aOR: 2.929, 95% CI 0.624-13.74).

CONCLUSIONS: Our study demonstrated that light to heavy drinking was associated with lower risk of cognitive impairment in participants aged between 60 and 69 years, but caution is needed in the middle old people with heavy alcohol drinking.

23 February 2022 In General Health

BACKGROUND: Research has long found 'J-shaped' relationships between alcohol consumption and certain health outcomes, indicating a protective effect of moderate consumption. However, methodological limitations in most studies hinder causal inference. This review aimed to identify all observational studies employing improved approaches to mitigate confounding in characterizing alcohol-long-term health relationships, and to qualitatively synthesize their findings.

METHODS: Eligible studies met the above description, were longitudinal (with pre-defined exceptions), discretized alcohol consumption, and were conducted with human populations. MEDLINE, PsycINFO, Embase and SCOPUS were searched in May 2020, yielding 16 published manuscripts reporting on cancer, diabetes, dementia, mental health, cardiovascular health, mortality, HIV seroconversion, and musculoskeletal health. Risk of bias of cohort studies was evaluated using the Newcastle-Ottawa Scale, and a recently developed tool was used for Mendelian Randomization studies.

RESULTS: A variety of functional forms were found, including reverse J/J-shaped relationships for prostate cancer and related mortality, dementia risk, mental health, and certain lipids. However, most outcomes were only evaluated by a single study, and few studies provided information on the role of alcohol consumption pattern. CONCLUSIONS: More research employing enhanced causal inference methods is urgently required to accurately characterize alcohol-long-term health relationships. Those studies that have been conducted find a variety of linear and non-linear functional forms, with results tending to be discrepant even within specific health outcomes.

TRIAL REGISTRATION: PROSPERO registration number CRD42020185861.

23 February 2022 In Cardiovascular System

BACKGROUND AND OBJECTIVES: Previous observational studies presented a positive association between alcohol and atrial fibrillation (AF). However, previous studies using genetic polymorphisms on the causal relationship between alcohol consumption and AF have reported conflicting results. This study aimed to evaluate the causality between alcohol consumption and AF using the aldehyde dehydrogenase 2 (ALDH2) rs671 polymorphism, which is the genetic variant with the most potent effect on drinking behavior.

METHODS: A total of 8,964 participants from the Dong-gu Study were included in the present study. The causal association between alcohol consumption and AF was evaluated through a Mendelian randomization (MR) analysis using the ALDH2 rs671 polymorphism as an instrumental variable.

RESULTS: No significant relationship between alcohol consumption and AF was found in the observational analysis. However, the genetic analysis using the ALDH2 polymorphism showed a significant association in men. In the MR analysis, genetically predicted daily alcohol consumption was positively related to AF.

CONCLUSIONS: MR analysis revealed a significant association between the amount of alcohol consumption and AF, which suggests that the association may be causal.

26 January 2022 In General Health

Our objective was to investigate longitudinal associations between alcohol drinking and body mass index (BMI). Alcohol drinking (exposure), BMI (outcome), smoking habit, occupation, longstanding illness, and leisure time physical activity (potential confounders) were assessed at ages 30, 34, 42, and 46 in the 1970 British Birth Cohort Study. Multilevel models were used to cope with the problem of correlated observations. There were 15,708 observations in 5931 men and 14,077 observations in 5656 women. Drinking was associated with BMI in men.

According to the regression coefficients, BMI was expected to increase by 0.36 (95% confidence interval: 0.11, 0.60) kg/m(2) per year in men who drank once a week and by 0.40 (0.14, 0.15) kg/m(2) per year in men who drank most days. In ten years, BMI was expected to increase by 5.4kg/m(2) in men who drank and by 2.9kg/m(2) in men who drank and were physically active. Drinking was not associated with BMI in women. Rather, BMI was expected to increase by 0.25 (0.07, 0.43) kg/m(2) per year in women who were former smokers.

In ten years, BMI was expected to increase by 4.3kg/m(2) in women who were former smokers and by 0.8kg/m(2) in women who were former smokers and who were physically active. Associations between drinking and BMI were similar after further adjustment for problematic drinking and diet. These longitudinal data suggest that drinking is associated with BMI in men and that drinking is not associated with BMI in women independent of other lifestyle risk factors.

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