23 February 2022 In General Health

BACKGROUND: Alcohol consumption potentially influences psychological well-being in beneficial and harmful ways, but prospective studies on the association show mixed results. Our main purpose was to examine prospective associations between alcohol consumption and psychological well-being in middle-aged men and women.

METHODS: The study sample included 4148 middle-aged individuals (80% men) from the Copenhagen Aging and Midlife Biobank who reported their alcohol consumption (average weekly consumption and frequency of binge drinking) at baseline in 2004 or 2006 and reported their psychological well-being (satisfaction with life and vitality) at follow-up in 2009-2011. Analyses were adjusted for sociodemographic factors, lifestyle, social relations, and morbidity.

RESULTS: For satisfaction with life at follow-up, lower scores were observed in men and women who were alcohol abstinent at baseline as well as in men with heavy alcohol consumption compared with moderate alcohol consumption at baseline. Moreover, men with weekly binge drinking at baseline had lower satisfaction with life scores at follow-up than men with moderate frequency of binge drinking (1-3 times/month). In relation to vitality at follow-up, alcohol abstinence at baseline in men and women and heavy alcohol consumption at baseline in men were associated with lower scores compared with moderate alcohol consumption (yet in men these findings were not robust to adjustment for covariates).

CONCLUSIONS: Alcohol abstinence seems to be prospectively associated with adverse psychological well-being (vitality and life satisfaction) in men and women, while heavy alcohol consumption seems to be prospectively associated with adverse satisfaction with life in men. Finally, a prospective association between weekly binge drinking and lower life satisfaction was observed in men.

22 October 2021 In Cardiovascular System

Alcohol consumption has been shown to have complex, and sometimes paradoxical, associations with cardiovascular diseases (CVDs). Several hundred epidemiological studies on this topic have been published in recent decades. In this narrative review, the epidemiological evidence will be examined for the associations between alcohol consumption, including average alcohol consumption, drinking patterns, and alcohol use disorders, and CVDs, including ischaemic heart disease, stroke, hypertension, atrial fibrillation, cardiomyopathy, and heart failure. Methodological shortcomings, such as exposure classification and measurement, reference groups, and confounding variables (measured or unmeasured) are discussed. Based on systematic reviews and meta-analyses, the evidence seems to indicate non-linear relationships with many CVDs. Large-scale longitudinal epidemiological studies with multiple detailed exposure and outcome measurements, and the extensive assessment of genetic and confounding variables, are necessary to elucidate these associations further. Conflicting associations depending on the exposure measurement and CVD outcome are hard to reconcile, and make clinical and public health recommendations difficult. Furthermore, the impact of alcohol on other health outcomes needs to be taken into account. For people who drink alcohol, the less alcohol consumed the better.

26 May 2021 In Drinking Patterns

Non-alcoholic fatty liver disease and alcoholic liver disease, the two most prevalent liver diseases worldwide, share a common pathology but have largely been considered disparate diseases. Liver diseases are widely underestimated, but their prevalence is increasing worldwide.

The Western diet (high-fat, high-sugar) and binge drinking (rapid consumption of alcohol in a short period of time) are two highly prevalent features of standard life in the United States, and both are linked to the development and progression of liver disease. Yet, few studies have been conducted to elucidate their potential interactions. Data shows binge drinking is on the rise in several age groups, and poor dietary trends continue to be prevalent.

This review serves to summarize the sparse findings on the hepatic consequences of the combination of binge drinking and consuming a Western diet, while also drawing conclusions on potential future impacts. The data suggest the potential for a looming liver disease epidemic, indicating that more research on its progression as well as its prevention is needed on this critical topic.

23 November 2020 In Diabetes

BACKGROUND: Evidence is lacking on the effects of binge alcohol consumption on metabolic syndrome in the rural South African population. The purpose of this study was to investigate the association between binge drinking and components of metabolic syndrome (MetS) amongst Ellisras rural young adults aged 21 to 31 years who are part of the Ellisras Longitudinal Study.

METHODS: Logistic regression analysis was applied to a total of 624 participants (306 males and 318 females) aged 21 to 31 years who took part in the Ellisras Longitudinal Study (ELS). The model was adjusted for covariates, including smoking, age, and gender. Binge alcohol consumption was assessed using a standardised questionnaire that was validated for the Ellisras rural community. A standardised method of determining the components MetS was used after fasting blood samples were collected from all the participants.

RESULTS: Binge drinking remained significantly associated with low levels of high-density lipoprotein cholesterol (HDL-C) (OR = 2.64, 95% CI = 1.23-5.65), after being adjusted for smoking, age, and gender. Other MetS components were not predicted. Instead, gender remained significantly associated with all MetS components, except triglycerides, at multivariate analysis. Age retained significance at multivariate analysis with waist girth (OR = 2.13, 95% CI = 1.37-3.34), triglycerides (OR = 2.30, 95% CI = 1.05-5.02), and the MetS composite (OR = 1.65, 95% CI = 1.12-2.41).

CONCLUSION: Binge drinking was significantly associated with lower levels of HDL-C. Future studies should investigate the relationship between alcohol abuse and the components of incident MetS in this population.

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