22 September 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.

26 August 2022 In Liver Disease
The role of moderate alcohol consumption in the evolution of NAFLD is still debated. The aim of this study is to evaluate the impact of current and lifelong alcohol consumption in patients with NAFLD. From 2015 to 2020, we enrolled 276 consecutive patients fulfilling criteria of NAFLD (alcohol consumption up to 140 g/week for women and 210 g/week for men). According to their current alcohol intake per week, patients were divided in: abstainers, very low consumers (C1:
26 August 2022 In Cardiovascular System

AIMS: The association between low-to-moderate alcohol consumption and atrial fibrillation (AF) has yet to be fully elucidated. The main purpose of this meta-analysis was to estimate the risk of incident AF related to low-to-moderate alcohol consumption.

METHODS AND RESULTS: A meta-analysis was performed on 13 publications discussing the estimated risk for AF with habitual low-to-moderate alcohol intake in 10 266 315 participants. Graphical augmentations to the funnel plots were used to illustrate the potential impact of additional evidence on the current meta-analysis. Thirteen eligible studies were included in this meta-analysis. We found that moderate alcohol consumption was associated with an increased risk of incident AF in males [hazard ratio (HR) 1.09, 95% confidence interval (CI): 1.07-1.11, P < 0.00001], Europeans (HR 1.32, 95% CI: 1.23-1.42, P < 0.00001), and Asians (HR 1.09, 95% CI: 1.07-1.11, P < 0.00001). Moderate beer consumption was associated with an increased risk of developing AF (HR 1.11, 95% CI: 1.02-1.21, P = 0.01). Low alcohol consumption conferred an increased risk of AF in males (HR 1.14, 95% CI: 1.01-1.28, P = 0.04) and Europeans (HR 1.12, 95% CI: 1.07-1.17, P < 0.00001).

CONCLUSIONS: This analysis represents the increased risk of incident AF in males, Europeans, and Asians at moderate alcohol consumption levels and in males and Europeans at low alcohol consumption levels. Those who drink any preferred alcohol beverage at moderate levels should be cautious for incident AF. More studies are warranted to find those factors that influence alcohol's effect on predisposing AF.

26 August 2022 In Cardiovascular System

BACKGROUND AND AIMS: Alcohol consumption has complex effects on myocardial infarction (MI) and ischemic stroke. We investigated the difference in associations according to drinking patterns (drinking frequency vs. amount per occasion) and sex.

METHODS: This population-based retrospective study included 11,595,191 subjects participating in national health examinations between 2009 and 2010. Using Cox regression analyses, we calculated MI and ischemic stroke risk according to weekly alcohol consumption, drinking frequency, and amount per occasion.

RESULTS: For MI, all weekly alcohol consumption amounts showed lower risk compared to non-drinkers: mild (adjusted hazard ratio [aHR], 0.78; 95% confidence intervals [CI], 0.77-0.79), moderate (aHR, 0.71; 95% CI, 0.70-0.73), and heavy (aHR, 0.74; 95% CI, 0.72-0.76). Drinking frequency and amount per occasion did not differ in MI risk. However, women showed increased risk with heavy drinking and >/=8 drinks per occasion. For ischemic stroke, a J-shaped association was observed for weekly alcohol consumption: mild (aHR, 0.91; 95% CI, 0.90-0.92), moderate (aHR, 0.94; 95% CI, 0.93-0.96), and heavy (aHR, 1.04; 95% CI, 1.02-1.06). Among women, ischemic stroke risk began to increase with moderate drinking. Given similar weekly alcohol consumption levels, ischemic stroke risk increased with higher frequency of drinking, not with amount per occasion.

CONCLUSIONS: Drinking frequency may be a more important risk factor for ischemic stroke than amount per occasion. Among women, the protective effect of alcohol against MI was not evident in heavy amounts, and the risk of ischemic stroke began to increase at lower levels compared to men.

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