29 January 2023 In Cardiovascular System

BACKGROUND AND OBJECTIVES: There is uncertainty about the association between alcohol consumption and stroke, particularly for low-moderate intake. We explored these associations in a large international study. METHODS: INTERSTROKE, a case-control study, is the largest international study of risk factors for acute stroke. Alcohol consumption was self-reported and categorized by drinks/week as low (1-7), moderate (7-14 for females and 7-21 for males), or high (>14 for females and >21 for males). Heavy episodic drinking (HED) was defined as >5 drinks on >/=1 day per month. Multivariable conditional logistic regression was used to determine associations. RESULTS: We included 12,913 cases and 12,935 controls; 25.0% (n = 6,449) were current drinkers, 16.7% (n = 4,318) former drinkers, and 58.3% (n = 15,076) never drinkers. Current drinkers were younger, male, smokers, active, and with higher-paid occupations. Current drinking was associated with all stroke (OR 1.14; 95% CI 1.04-1.26) and intracerebral hemorrhage (ICH) (OR 1.50, 95% CI 1.21-1.84) but not ischemic stroke (OR 1.06; 95% CI 0.95-1.19). HED pattern was associated with all stroke (OR 1.39; 95% CI 1.21-1.59), ischemic stroke (OR 1.29; 95% CI 1.10-1.51), and ICH (OR 1.76; 95% CI 1.31-2.36). High level of alcohol intake was consistently associated with all stroke, ischemic stroke, and ICH. Moderate intake was associated with all stroke and ICH but not ischemic stroke. Low alcohol intake was not associated with stroke overall, but there were regional differences; low intake was associated with reduced odds of stroke in Western Europe/North America (OR 0.66; 95% CI 0.45-0.96) and increased odds in India (OR 2.18; 95% CI 1.42-3.36) (p-interaction 0.037). Wine consumption was associated with reduced odds of all stroke and ischemic stroke but not ICH. The magnitudes of association were greatest in those without hypertension and current smokers. DISCUSSION: High and moderate intake were associated with increased odds of stroke, whereas low intake was not associated with stroke. However, there were important regional variations, which may relate to differences in population characteristics of alcohol consumers, types or patterns of consumption.

29 January 2023 In Diabetes

AIM: We aimed to investigate the combined impact of liver enzymes and alcohol consumption on the diabetes risk. METHODS: Data on 5972 non-diabetic participants aged 30-79 years from the Suita study were analyzed.

Diabetes incidence was surveyed every 2 years. Current daily alcohol consumption was defined as light drinking (< 23.0 g ethanol/day in men and < 11.5 g in women), moderate drinking (23.0-45.9 g and 11.5-22.9 g), and heavy drinking (>/= 46.0 g and >/= 23.0 g). The nondrinkers category included both never-drinkers and former drinkers. RESULTS: During the median follow-up of 13 years, 597 incident diabetes cases were diagnosed.

Higher levels of gamma-glutamyltransferase (GGT), alanine aminotransferase (GPT), and aspartate aminotransferase (GOT) were associated with an increased diabetes risk, and current light drinkers had a lower risk of diabetes than nondrinkers.

No sex differences were observed in these associations. Compared to nondrinkers having the lowest quartiles of liver enzymes, nondrinkers and current moderate/heavy drinkers having the highest quartiles had an increased risk of diabetes.

However, no association was observed for current light drinkers having the highest quartiles of liver enzymes; the multivariable hazard ratios (95% CIs) in current light drinkers with the highest quartile of liver enzymes were 1.27 (0.68-2.37) for GGT, 1.05 (0.59-1.89) for GPT, and 0.76 (0.40-1.47) for GOT, respectively.

CONCLUSION: High liver enzymes were associated with an increased diabetes risk. No increased diabetes risk was observed in current light drinkers, even in these who had high levels of liver enzymes.

26 January 2023 In Cancer

Experimental evidence suggests that alcohol induces cutaneous carcinogenesis, yet epidemiological studies on the link between alcohol intake and skin cancer have been inconsistent.

The European Prospective Investigation into Cancer and Nutrition (EPIC) is a prospective cohort initiated in 1992 in 10 European countries. Alcohol intake at baseline and average lifetime alcohol intake were assessed using validated country-specific dietary and lifestyle questionnaires.

Hazard ratios (HRs) and 95% confidence intervals (CIs) were estimated in Cox models.

A total of 14 037 skin cancer cases (melanoma: n = 2457; basal-cell carcinoma (BCC): n = 8711; squamous-cell carcinoma (SCC): n = 1928; unknown: n = 941) were identified among 450 112 participants (average follow-up: 15 years). Baseline alcohol intake was positively associated with SCC (>15 vs 0.1-4.9 g/day: HR = 1.44, 95% CI = 1.17-1.77; P(trend) = .001), BCC (HR = 1.12, 95% CI = 1.01-1.23; P(trend) = .04), and melanoma risks in men (HR = 1.17, 95% CI = 0.95-1.44; P(trend) = .17), while associations were more modest in women (SCC: HR = 1.09, 95% CI = 0.90-1.30; P(trend) = .13; BCC: HR = 1.08, 95% CI = 1.00-1.17, P(trend) = .03; melanoma: HR = 0.93, 95% CI = 0.80-1.08, P(trend) = .13).

Associations were similar for lifetime alcohol intake, with an attenuated linear trend. Lifetime liquor/spirit intake was positively associated with melanoma (fourth vs first quartile: HR = 1.47, 95% CI = 1.08-1.99; P(trend) = .0009) and BCC risks in men (HR = 1.17, 95% CI = 1.04-1.31; P(trend) = .14). Baseline and lifetime intakes of wine were associated with BCC risk (HR = 1.25 in men; HR = 1.11-1.12; in women).

No statistically significant associations were found between beverage types and SCC risk.

Intake of beer was not associated with skin cancer risk. Our study suggests positive relationships between alcohol intake and skin cancer risk, which may have important implications for the primary prevention of skin cancer.

25 January 2023 In Liver Disease

Alcohol use and metabolic syndrome are highly prevalent in the population and frequently co-exist. Both are implicated in a large range of health problems, including chronic liver disease, hepatocellular carcinoma, and liver-related outcomes (i.e. decompensation or liver transplantation). Studies have yielded mixed results regarding the effects of mild-moderate alcohol consumption on the risk of metabolic syndrome and fatty liver disease, possibly due to methodological differences. The few available prospective studies have indicated that mild-moderate alcohol use is associated with an increase in liver-related outcomes. This conclusion was substantiated by systems biology analyses suggesting that alcohol and metabolic syndrome may play a similar role in fatty liver disease, potentiating an already existing dysregulation of common vital homeostatic pathways. Alcohol and metabolic factors are independently and jointly associated with liver-related outcomes. Indeed, metabolic syndrome increases the risk of liver-related outcomes, regardless of alcohol intake. Moreover, the components of metabolic syndrome appear to have additive effects when it comes to the risk of liver-related outcomes. A number of population studies have implied that measures of central/abdominal obesity, such as the waist-to-hip ratio, can predict liver-related outcomes more accurately than BMI, including in individuals who consume harmful quantities of alcohol. Many studies even point to synergistic interactions between harmful alcohol use and many metabolic components. This accumulating evidence showing independent, combined, and modifying effects of alcohol and metabolic factors on the onset and progression of chronic liver disease highlights the multifactorial background of liver disease in the population. The available evidence suggests that more holistic approaches could be useful for risk prediction, diagnostics and treatment planning.

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