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 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.

23 November 2022 In Cardiovascular System

BACKGROUND: Studies evaluating alcohol consumption and cardiovascular diseases have shown inconsistent results. METHODS: We performed a systematic review of peer-reviewed publications from an extensive query of Ovid MEDLINE, Ovid Embase, Ovid Cochrane Database of Systematic Reviews, Scopus, and Web of Science from database inception to March 2022 for all studies that reported the association between alcohol consumption in terms of quantity (daily or weekly amounts) and type of beverage (wine, beer or spirit) and cardiovascular disease events.

RESULTS: The study population included a total of 1,579,435 individuals based on 56 cohorts from several countries. We found that moderate wine consumption defined as 1-4 drinks per week was associated with a reduction in risk for cardiovascular mortality when compared with beer or spirits. However, higher risk for cardiovascular disease mortality was typically seen with heavier daily or weekly alcohol consumption across all types of beverages.

CONCLUSIONS: It is possible that the observational studies may overestimate the benefits of alcohol for cardiovascular disease outcomes. Although moderate wine consumption is probably associated with low cardiovascular disease events, there are many confounding factors, in particular, lifestyle, genetic, and socioeconomic associations with wine drinking, which likely explain much of the association with wine and reduced cardiovascular disease events. Further prospective study of alcohol and all-cause mortality, including cancer, is needed.

27 October 2022 In General Health

INTRODUCTION: Chronic pain represents a global health problem with a considerable economic burden. The relation of alcohol intake and chronic pain conditions was assessed in several studies with conflicting results. We used dose-response meta-analysis techniques to answer the question of whether alcohol intake is related to chronic pain occurrence.

METHODS: We searched MEDLINE, Embase, and other databases to identify cohort and case-control studies on alcohol consumption and chronic pain. Sixteen studies were eligible with a total population of 642 587 individuals. Fixed-effects and random-effects pooled estimates were obtained by weighting log odds ratios (ORs) in case-control studies and log incidence rate ratios in cohort studies by the inverse of their variance. A heterogeneity assessment and a dose-response analysis were carried out. Quality scoring was also performed.

RESULTS: Our results show that any alcohol consumption was related to lower odds of chronic pain (pooled OR=0.76; 95% confidence interval [CI], 0.61-0.95). The association was non-linear. The ORs by quartile of alcohol doses were as follows: OR2nd quartile=0.74; 95% CI, 0.64-0.87; OR3rd quartile=0.67; 95% CI, 0.53-0.86; and OR4th quartile=0.75; 95% CI, 0.50-1.14. This association was observed for cohort studies (OR=0.77; 95% CI, 0.61-0.98) and European studies (OR=0.65; 95% CI, 0.48-0.87) only. Studies with complete adjustment for confounding factors showed a stronger relation than those with incomplete adjustment (OR=0.69; 95% CI, 0.48-0.99 and OR=0.85; 95% CI, 0.65-1.11, respectively).

CONCLUSION: Alcohol consumption presents a non-linear inverse association with the occurrence of chronic pain. Although plausible mechanisms could explain this protective effect, other explanations, including reverse causation, are probable.

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